Little Scraps of Paper

Little Scraps of Paper is a series of short documentary films created in 2010 by director Tomas Leach, assisted by Nicolas Cambier and Daniel Diego Lincoln. They explore how different creative people develop ideas and thoughts and what they keep in them.

interview with Eric Lis M.D. C.M., Emperor of Aerican Empire by samyuktha pc

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by Andreas Kitsios, Cyprus, UK

Posted on Inside my alley in March, 2008

The concept of understanding is far more important than the concept of knowing and remembering.

House – “Right I’ll tell her that everything went on without her. Babies were born, people got married, thousands of people will remember the day that she got raped as the happiest day of their lives.”

“We are selfish base animals crawling across the earth. But because we have brains, if we try real hard, we can occasionally aspire to something that is less than pure evil.”

That’s the idea of life. That’s the idea of what we really are. Selfish uncaring animals that cannot foresee or understand the concept of life. We are animals that see everything from our own point of view, we live happiness in our own head, we understand people’s feelings by faking feelings or trying to look back and compare with our own experiences. You see everything in this world is selfish and there is nothing that can change it. We live our life trying very hard, or many of us at least, to acquire wisdom, power, money, something to make us happy, something to make us better than all the rest.

Normalcy doesn’t include happiness. It’s not in the schedule. You always have to look from someone else’s point of view. You’ll never be happy if you only had the minimum and you’d never be happy if you didn’t have something that other people don’t have. It seems to be that our happiness comes from our narcissistic nature that the whole world is about us.

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Bruce Hornsby and the revelation

by Laurel Ring, Florida

I am not a morning person. I woke up this morning in the same mood as usual — tired, grumpy and a little fragile. I usually listen to satellite radio on the way to work, but this morning it was hard to find something I really liked, so I plugged in my iPod and set it on the “Favorites” playlist. After a few ’80s New Wave songs, I was treated to an instant mood lifter: “The Valley Road” by Bruce Hornsby and the Range. There is something about that song (and many others of his), especially the piano accompaniment. It is incredible, to say the least.

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Influencers by Paul Rojanathara and Davis Johnson


R+I creative, 13 mins 56s

This is a short documentary where Paul Rojanathara and Davis Johnson explore what it means to be an influencer by talking to various “influential” creatives in New York part of advertising, design, fashion and entertainment. It speaks on how trends and creativity become contagious today in music, fashion, entertainment and life. It attempts to understand the essence of influence, and its consequent responsibilities.

Join us at TED

No, we are not talking at TED. That’s too much to aspire. What we gone ahead and done is to start a TED conversation and we would like to invite all of you there. Our question is the essence of us being part of Chai Kadai itself. How to create a welcoming and safe place for dialogue? Please come and join us or tell us anywhere what you think might be the key.

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The Oppressed Creativity


a look at the complex city life and creative aspirations

by Pedro Butelli, Romania

If we are to create balanced human beings, capable of entering into world-wide co-operation with all other men of good will — and that is the supreme task of our generation, and the foundation of all its other potential achievements — we must give as much weight to the arousal of the emotions and to the expression of moral and esthetic values as we now give to science, to invention, to practical organization. One without the other is impotent. And values do not come ready-made: they are achieved by a resolute attempt to square the facts of one’s own experience with the historic patterns formed in the past by those who devoted their whole lives to achieving and expressing values. If we are to express the love in our own hearts, we must also understand what love meant to Socrates and Saint Francis, to Dante and Shakespeare, to Emily Dickinson and Christina Rossetti, to the explorer Shackleton and to the intrepid physicians who deliberately exposed themselves to yellow fever. These historic manifestations of love are not recorded in the day’s newspaper or the current radio program: they are hidden to people who possess only fashionable minds.

Lewis Mumford, Values for Survival (1946)

Lewis Mumford

Lewis Mumford (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I couldn’t agree more with what Lewis Mumford once said, that the chief function of a city is, above all else, to “convert biological reproduction into social creativity”. But recently, cities are growing in such a way that creativity is being oppressed by factors that few recognise.

If you live in a big city (especially in poor countries) or a major urban complex where thousands, perhaps millions of people go on with their lives every single day, you have probably noticed those factors too, but not in the particular way that I’m going to explain now. The traffic chaos, the stress, the violence and the pollution are “normal” things that you experience on an everyday basis by simply going to work, or just looking out your window. But you never thought that these problems would control the way you live.

While a city is growing, competition is growing with it. More people are trying hard to become (or stay) independent; often through getting a good job and trying to be successful. But not all of them achieve their goals. That’s where unemployment comes in, as one of the major influences that serve to suppress creativity. When I was young, I believed that I could only follow one path; study hard to go to one of the best universities, study even harder, get a good job, and work hard to keep it. No one ever told me that there were other paths to take; I could start my own business, or try to be better in what I really liked to do and try to make that my job. No, if I were to have taken that path, it couldn’t possibly have gone well and would result in myself becoming a jobless loser, supported by my parents. The fear of not being successful made me stop thinking about the infinite possibilities that life had offered, and forced me to take that path. Study. University. Study. Work.

 Violence is another major factor. I can’t picture anyone talking to a complete stranger without that certain fear of the other person’s intentions. Not in a big city. Whenever someone comes to you and asks something, it doesn’t matter how innocent that question is, that uncomfortable apprehension always stays with you, the uncertainty of the other’s intentions that keeps you alert through every second of the day. That same insecurity makes everyone think twice about meeting new people and being nice to everyone, especially because the city taught you that everyone is a potential hazard.

And that’s just about two of the most common things we see in the cities we all live in, every single day. If you think about it, you probably should end up with the same thought that I had when starting to write this; cities are not places of grand creativity. For sure, in the poorer countries of the world, they are the exact opposite.

But maybe, just maybe, creativity really isn’t being oppressed at all. Perhaps our cities are just going through a phase. Maybe violence, unemployment, traffic, pollution and other urban problems are just changing our urban environment, transforming it and perhaps even making it better each day. Maybe that’s the social creativity that Mumford talked about. Maybe the fear that keeps walking by our side doesn’t control our actions. Maybe it’s just better for us to believe that.

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Where Good Ideas Come From by Steve Johnson

(source: riverheadbooks youtube channel)

2010, 4 mins 7s

One of the most innovative, popular thinkers takes on -in exhilarating style – one of our key queries: ‘Where do good ideas come from?’

His says that connectivity of humans and the ability to share-alike as a community help good ideas incubate and flourish. Connectivity and the multiplicity of minds at work is in fact the reason why most of us love the world wide web. It helps us go beyond a certain boundary and get in touch with randomness.

Through more and more talks on creativity we are still not finding an answer to one of our key questions: Why be creative? or What to use our creativity for? or Should there ever be a ‘good’ reason to use creative ideas? or Should creativity dialogue with ethics?

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Carried Away by Alan Pakarnyk and Vonnie Von Helmolt


Vodpod videos no longer available.

NFB 1986, 6 mins 11s

This short animated film is an impressionistic reflection on the creative process. Using black-and-white photographs (to represent reality), overlaid with animated colour drawings (to represent fantasy), it illustrates the artist as he braves creative storms, indulges spontaneous bursts of inspiration and learns, by trial and error, to harness his creative powers.

Fantasy is only the truth. 

Abbie Hoffman

Can you differentiate between real and ‘unreal’ all the time?