photo rebke klokke
His Inner View Method has given rise to the acclaimed Soul Biographies Film Series, an experience of human presence viewed by millions.
Nic has set out to capture The Soul of This Human Race on film, in all its shades and from all four corners. So that we might see ourselves reflected in each other. So that we might see beyond all differences. So that we might come to remember that we each belong without condition. When one catches sight of an inner view of another everything changes.
The work with and without the camera has been described as being like sitting in the experience of an unyielding awareness.
Pressed for a Bio, Nic often forwards his poem The Glorious Ignoramus . ‘I don’t know. But I know that I don’t know. I love that I don’t know. That I can never know for sure. So I’ve stopped looking to understand you. Or convince you. And now, finally, I can see you. I am a glorious ignoramus.’
ADDING TO A SERIES OF PRECIED STORIES – DO CHECK BACK
I was sitting quietly in a Hotel in London in 2005, not thinking about anything in particular. Not searching for anything at all, and the notion to pick up a camera consumed me with no doubt. It came from the ether. Like in the TREE OF DREAMS.
I once was the MC at a Holocaust Survivors Event in front of hundreds of school children. I inner-viewed them, and discovered ALISON. Every child was utterly silent throughout her encounter, and chanted her name, clapped and stomped their feet at the end, wishing for it not to end. I subsequently made a Soul Biography of her and her extraordinary spirit.
The US Government’s Bureau of Land Management once became patron to a film series on CONFLICT. The defining moment in the decision to say yes appeared to be when I read out loud a recently written poem entitled TWO FOOLS IN A MIRROR to the Department Head which I had written on the way to give a speech at the Womens National Democratic Club in Washington DC. I’d been wondering about the politicians experience.
During dinner one evening RUPERT SHELDRAKE, the renowned and unacceptable Biologist, stood up abruptly and said ‘Mr Askew, I believe you might be an itinerant confessor’, and equally abruptly sat down. Continuing on with dinner.
In a fashion Rupert was right. But the confession was never to a sin but to realization that each of us belong without condition.
Soul Of A Nation
I was once commissioned to capture the Soul of a Nation. The patron and I rendered ourselves lost in Guatemala, as the soul of everything is in anything. The way he saw everyone changed. Years later he ran for President. I helped him in this endeavor too, with the camera and a steely appetite for truth in an environment that wasn’t used to its experience.
A tradesman came around to fix some simple things in the house. Seven hours later he was still here. The work had taken an hour, but all lives are fascinatingly deep. Exploration without a presupposed destination or need for remedy is extraordinary. This happens to me often. It informs much of what I make.
A number of years ago I spent a few days filming a number of end-stage Multiple Sclerosis patients in a Dutch hospital. Filming in a language I do not understand or need to, as Inner View’s concern is simply where are words spoken from. There was a palpable atmosphere of increased closeness.
I often film in languages I do not seemingly understand.
A Violent Crime
I once shot a FILM about the experience of losing a child to a violent crime. The experience was so profoundly important that it took me a year to even approach the footage.
The film was premiered at Georgetown University, within hours of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting. I had no idea whilst introducing the film, as a haunting energy consumed the auditorium.
Singuli nobis resistere videtur, unum, sicut et nos clamamus testimonium quod sumus. Et sicut vocem de secreto per actiones, nostris omni die, ulterius non a conspectu suo. Praeterea, ex experimentum uno eodemque pulsatio.
The Mexican Lady
Whilst shooting the Alzheimer’s film A LIFE BEYOND in a Madrid Nursing Home, I was pursuaded to play guitar for the elderly residents before dinner, only to be cornered by a 101 year old Mexican lady who insisted that I gave her my phone number.
I was once asked to write a piece for a Hollywood Magazine about what I imagined was most important to me. I had the latitude of using many words. Most contributors to the column had used those many words. I thought it would be easy. After a few months I submitted just 71 words, entitled ONE SAME HEARTBEAT. 3 of those words were the title.
I had a SOUL BIOGRAPHY sit on Sting’s Home Page for a couple of months a number of years ago. It was of his guitarist and writing partner of many years, Dominic Miller. Dominic was responsible for me playing guitar on all Soul Biographies since the day I filmed him. Except his film. Of course.