Faith in the City featured in the 11th RAI International Festival of Ethnographic Film:


An artistic montage created from all the films in the Faith in The City Series. This film explores the spiritual aesthetics that all Faiths and forms of worship share.

Art and symbol-making are ancient practices. As far as we can tell, they go back to the beginning of human consciousness. The philosopher Ernst Cassirer went so far as to designate the human race asĀ homo symbolicus; human beings are inherently symbol-making creatures. The aesthetic impulse seems to be a universal longing. As humans we seem to have an inherent need to express ourselves in gesture, song, story, symbol, colour, image, ritual. We use these to help make sense of the world and to break open its meaning. The beat of the drum, the painting of icons, the soaring arch of a sanctuary space – we rely on the aesthetic also in order both to express and to interpret the ‘holy’. The arts are evocative rather than descriptive; hence they provide a space within which the spiritual landscape and universal mystery can be held.

Postcard I designed for Faith in the City, on sale to visitors in the museum shop. (click for full size)

A tutor from Leeds College of Art and Design uses the Faith in the City films/exhibition as a teaching resource for foundation students, watching the films on an interactive ‘pod’ in the main arena of Leeds City Museum.

Faith In The City is a series of documentary films exploring the cultural landscape of Leeds through an in-depth exploration of religious practices and conventions. Featuring footage of religious ceremonies, festivals and celebrations, this series uses detailed and revealing interviews with religious leaders and practitioners combined with beautifully shot and edited footage to give a full and comprehensive representation of the cultural diversity that Leeds enjoys.