The video ‘The One That Got Away’ makes a compelling plea to a sense of belonging in the midst of urban transformation. Phrases which appear on screen were taken from anonymous letters addressed to ex-lovers posted online—that have been written not to be sent—as a way of seeking closure and being part of the healing process. Conflating numerous of these phrases with meandering moving images of closely cropped urban landscapes seem to refer as much to an absent former lover as to a lost sense of place. ‘The One That Got Away’ evokes a feeling of alienation as well as an unending need to belong.
Major cities around the globe are going through a speculative property development boom. Multinational real estate corporations are buying up large-scale urban land, to churn out high-end, homogeneous looking giant glass towers, without any regard to the local environment.
The exterior of buildings shape our urban experience and provide an emotional connection to a city. Threatened by the surge in corporate re-development, our cities are beginning to lose their individual character, contributing to a lost sense of place among residents.
Since the aim is to extract the highest profit possible, developers focus solely on building higher-end retail chains, luxury apartments, and premium office parks. This can lead to the hollowing out of the social and cultural vibrancy of the city. As urban dwellers are in constant flow by their endless search for affordable housing.
The video ‘The One That Got Away’ reflects on this phenomenon of being in a continuous state of transition. When your environment is changing so rapidly around you, and the differences between global cities are blurring, you find yourself split between the memory of a lost love and the longing for a new one.
‘The One That Got Away’ has been shortlisted for the LOOP Barcelona 2019’s Discover Award.