Crannog

15 minutes

Neurosymphony

2 minutes

Hunting for Hockney

3 minutes

Hurricane Katrina, frame by frame

6 minutes

A woman like me

9 minutes

Aeon for Friends

Find out more

‘When it comes to the end, we all want the same things.’ Why animals need a good death

Alexis Fleming has devoted her life to providing palliative care for sick and disabled animals. At the animal hospice she established in rural Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland, she treats every sheep, chicken and pig with the same gentle care and patience that most people reserve for dear friends and family. Underlying her work is a deep conviction, with her since childhood, that all animals desire comfort, safety and companionship in their final days. Fleming herself is living with a life-threatening disease, and her proximity to death somehow buoys her up as she tends to the sick and dying around her. In making her short documentary Crannog with a spare, observational style, the Glasgow-based director Isa Rao mirrors the intimacy, strength and tenderness of Fleming’s labour of love. The video’s title comes from the Gaelic for an ancient form of dwelling found in Ireland and Scotland that often housed extended families, and is an apt metaphor for Fleming’s world, one in which moments of intense joy and sorrow are unified by a deeply felt sense of purpose in caring for others. 

Director: Isa Rao

Producer: Tom van den Hurk

Website: Scottish Documentary Institute, Guardian Documentaries

Aeon for Friends

Find out more

See and hear the human brain as you’ve never experienced it before

The Laboratory for NeuroImaging of Coma and Consciousness (NICC) at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston studies the process of recovering consciousness after traumatic brain injuries. Using more than 100 hours of MRI scans of a human brain unaffected by neurological disease or traumatic brain injuries, a team at the NICC compiled the highest-resolution rendering of a full human brain on record, detecting objects smaller than 0.1 millimetres. Neurosymphony, exclusive to Aeon, explores three distinct perspectives on the brain, using videos of the scans made freely available by the NICC. The video pairs the imagery with an excerpt from the album Chapel by the US electronic musician and music-cognition researcher Grace Leslie, in which she converts her brainwaves into music. Beyond providing an unprecedented glimpse into the intricacies of the human brain, the NICC team hopes that these images will assist other researchers in identifying abnormalities associated with complex brain conditions such as coma and depression.

Via Kottke

Editor: Adam D’Arpino

Composer: Grace Leslie

Aeon for Friends

Find out more

A dreamy animated tale of grief, friendship and a road trip to David Hockney’s house

‘You were too young to lose your mum. And we were too young to be organising a funeral.’

When her friend’s mother died, the UK filmmaker Alice Dunseath and her friend set out on an unplanned road trip through Yorkshire, mostly because they didn’t know what else to do. The only destination they gave themselves was the house of the artist David Hockney, supposedly somewhere in the town of Bridlington. Dunseath’s brief animation echoes some of Hockney’s signature stylistic flourishes, including dreamlike landscapes and saturated colours, but her narration offers an arresting counterpoint to the images – a simple, aching account of how grief can both heighten and numb the senses, render words meaningful and meaningless, and make goals simultaneously important and absurd.

Video by Alice Dunseath

Aeon for Friends

Find out more

Who is ‘looting’ and who is ‘finding food’? How image gatekeepers shape the news

In August 2005, Alysia Burton Steele was just two months into her job as a photo editor on The Dallas Morning News when she decided to dispatch the photographer Irwin Thompson to New Orleans to document the impact of Hurricane Katrina. Her newspaper’s bold journalistic work went on to win a Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography in 2006. In this short interview, Burton Steele describes how her team approached their coverage of the storm and its aftermath, and discusses the telling disparity between how news outlets presented African Americans and white people affected by the tragedy. This video is part of Topic’s Frame by Frame series, in which ‘celebrated photojournalists explore images of the people and events that helped shape the American experience, and discuss how working with photographs impacts them personally’.

Director: Yvonne Michelle Shirley

Producer: Jennie Bedusa

Website: Topic

Aeon for Friends

Find out more

When a deafblind woman from Denmark met a woman like her in Nepal

‘I dreamt I was the deafblind woman we visited … And there was no information, nothing, just isolation.’

Sensory experience, cultural differences and degrees of privilege collide in a meeting between two deafblind women: Dorte Eriksen from Denmark and Budhi Maya Gurung from Nepal. Commissioned by the Danish Deafblind Association to document a trip to help deafblind people in Nepal, the Mexican-Danish filmmaker Isabel Morales Bondy found herself filming the two women’s remarkable encounter. A Woman Like Me is assembled entirely without spoken words. Instead, viewers get to see as if through Eriksen’s eyes and hear only what the director does as witness to the women’s language of touch. Acknowledging the opacity of this experience, Morales Bondy chose not to subtitle the women’s meeting, prompting profound questions about language, communication and human connection. 

Director: Isabel Morales Bondy

Producer: Lars Feldballe Petersen

Aeon for Friends

Find out more

‘When it comes to the end, we all want the same things.’ Why animals need a good death

Alexis Fleming has devoted her life to providing palliative care for sick and disabled animals. At the animal hospice she established in rural Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland, she treats every sheep, chicken and pig with the same gentle care and patience that most people reserve for dear friends and family. Underlying her work is a deep conviction, with her since childhood, that all animals desire comfort, safety and companionship in their final days. Fleming herself is living with a life-threatening disease, and her proximity to death somehow buoys her up as she tends to the sick and dying around her. In making her short documentary Crannog with a spare, observational style, the Glasgow-based director Isa Rao mirrors the intimacy, strength and tenderness of Fleming’s labour of love. The video’s title comes from the Gaelic for an ancient form of dwelling found in Ireland and Scotland that often housed extended families, and is an apt metaphor for Fleming’s world, one in which moments of intense joy and sorrow are unified by a deeply felt sense of purpose in caring for others. 

Director: Isa Rao

Producer: Tom van den Hurk

Website: Scottish Documentary Institute, Guardian Documentaries

Get Aeon straight
to your inbox
Join our newsletter
Aeon is not-for-profit
and free for everyone
Make a donation
Essay/
Nations and empires
Cosmopolitan Ottomans

European colonisation put an abrupt end to political experiments towards a more equal, diverse and ecumenical Arab world

Ussama Makdisi

Essay/
Nature and landscape
Rooted

What if, rather than mere props in the background of our lives, trees embody the history of all life on Earth?

Dalia Nassar & Margaret M Barbour