• Gordon MacLellan

Waterbears and moss wonders

a landscape for waterbears and moss beasts?

Waterbears are fascinating little animals. From mountain peaks to deep ocean trenches, from tropical forests to Antarctic ice, they amble through their microscopic lives, grazing on algae and plant cells, eating other invertebrates. They cope with just about anything their environment throws at them, on the world, or off it. They have even survived exposure to the cold between the stars.

Tardigrades inspire people. They feature in the Ant-Man and Ant-Man and the Wasp films, a giant Tardigrade appeared in Star Trek: Discovery. They even wandered into episodes of South Park and Family Guy

Tough, resilient and good at responding to changing worlds and uncertain times, that describes the waterbear. All of which also describe the Waterbear network. Waterbear offers “the first interactive video on demand platform dedicated to our planet. Waterbear is an ecosystem of impact, and home to over 90 nonprofits, a library of world-class content and films and gives a growing audience around the globe the tools to take action throughs its mobile App and Web Platform”

The Waterbear website is a doorway into worlds where event those original tardigrades might feel at home ,with a catalogue of films to watch from long documentaries to a refreshing “under 10 minutes” set (just right for a quick pause on the screen). I got completely distracted by one about crocodiles

You might also keep an eye open for the 8 Billion project which will launch during 2021. 8 Billion will offer a community-centred platform connected to that spectacular Waterbear array: from professional film-makers to passionate people with a cell-phone making their own films: these all become expressions of our relationship with the world around us. 8 Billion will become a platform for those short films, for local voices sharing their stories, for local communities to be heard on a wider stage. From crocodile charming to protest marches, from church services to community tree planting: we connect to our world in so many ways and we have so many stories to share, so many connections to make. Platforms like Waterbear and 8 Billion share the stories but more than that they also offer the chance to make those connections, to meet the people behind the words, make contact with other projects, other communities. While the 8 Billion website is still under development, there is a film about the plans, here

There are always new wonders to celebrate, new friends to make, new ways to remind ourselves that we are part of this world and what befalls the world us changes us as well.

what would you celebrate?


Thinking about what 8Billion films would we make? will we make? People? Places? Wildlife?

All images c/o G MacLellan

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