Finding the natural world around us

I want you to watch and think about the short film Mobilize, by Caroline Monnet.

Caroline Monnet (Anishinaabe/French) is a multidisciplinary artist from Outaouais, Quebec. She studied Sociology and Communication at the University of Ottawa (Canada) and the University of Granada (Spain) before pursuing a career in visual arts and film. (



1a: to put into movement or circulationmobilize financial assets
b: to release (something stored in the organism) for bodily useThe body mobilizes its antibodies.
2a: to assemble and make ready for war dutymobilize all reserve forces for overseas duty
b: to marshal (something, such as resources) for actionmobilize support for a proposal  (text source



What’s going on? What do you see, and don’t see? (Yes, 3 minutes for you to jot down some thoughts)


Not many of us grew up in nature.  No, in fact, many here moved to Vancouver from larger and more industrialized urban landscapes and cities. Our daily lives have been, and are, spent in school, houses, shops, and restaurants- life in the city.  We move through the city by car, bus, and Skytrain- do you ever walk to school?.  Our play and ‘learning’ are informed by the digital world, social media, and online platforms of fantasy and fun…

Yet if you look up and to the north, we can see the mountains of the North shore, we know there the Pacific ocean is to the West and that to the east we pass through Burnaby, Maple Ridge, Chilliwack, and finally get into Manning park and the Cascade Mountains… the wilderness, Nature.


But we really don’t have to travel that far to get into nature, do we?


I mean if we look out from my classroom windows we see mountains, we see trees.  If we walk out the front doors we see more trees, shrubs, and even flowers… sometimes.


Nature is all around us: Birds, Bees, insects of all varieties, grass growing in the cracks between the slabs of concrete.  A small garden in front of a house,  A hanging basket on a business’s patio… but do you see it?


In this Film based Media Arts project, I want you to show me Nature of/in your urban environment.


For me, in the short film Mobilize, I see at first indigenous people living within a natural environment. To me, the people, the houses, and all the human-made items are a bit jarring, to me, juxtaposed within the landscape. Then the short takes us into a city’s urban industrial landscape. We see no more landscape, we see no more nature… it’s odd, but I find this less jarring… its what I’m used to, now. But why is it called Mobilize?

Monnet says:

“Guided expertly by those who live on the land and driven by the pulse of the natural world, Mobilize takes us on an exhilarating journey from the far north to the urban south. Over every landscape, in all conditions, everyday life flows with strength, skill and extreme competence. Hands swiftly thread sinew through snowshoes. Axes expertly peel birch bark to make a canoe. A master paddler navigates icy white waters. In the city, Mohawk ironworkers stroll across steel girders, almost touching the sky, and a young woman asserts her place among the towers. The fearless polar punk rhythms of Tanya Tagaq’s Uja underscore the perpetual negotiation between the modern and traditional by a people always moving forward.” (Text source from

But whats your assignment? Well its to make a short film of course!



  • Assignment 1: Walk home, or go for a walk around your neighbourhood.  Use your phone to capture 6 examples.
  • Assignment 2: Write a paragraph or two about your experiences in/with nature.   And what you are planning to show/convey through your short video.
  • Assignment 3: submit your storyboard.
  • Assignment 4: submit your completed film on teams.


Project criteria:

  • A film on your thoughts/interactions with nature in your urban environment.
  • your film needs to have:
    • Sound track
    • opening and closing titles
    • a length of 2-3 minutes

We will use Adobe Rush to complete our film.

please export your video as a .MP4, or a .WAV file.