South Africa

Another’s treasure: Items Fouche collects would have ended up on a landfill

EXPLORER. Alti Fouche

Filmmaker and director of photography Alti Fouche believes in the best of humanity and it’s been her life’s mission to create something. A something though she didn’t know what it was until recently. It’s making intention odysseys for people. And while it sounds a bit vague, when Fouche explains, it slowly makes sense “I spent a very long time looking for ways to share beauty with the world,” said Fouche. “And it wasn’t until a group of friends got together and brainstormed that the answer finally revealed itself, making gifts for others, by hand, where each aspect of the gift…

Filmmaker and director of photography Alti Fouche believes in the best of humanity and it’s been her life’s mission to create something. A something though she didn’t know what it was until recently.

It’s making intention odysseys for people. And while it sounds a bit vague, when Fouche explains, it slowly makes sense

“I spent a very long time looking for ways to share beauty with the world,” said Fouche.

“And it wasn’t until a group of friends got together and brainstormed that the answer finally revealed itself, making gifts for others, by hand, where each aspect of the gift is a gift within itself,” she said.

Fouche is as passionate about making beautiful pictures through filming as she is about changing people’s lives.

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Intention Odysseys

For her, it’s about the love and energy that she injects into projects, along with her cocreators, and to pass this energy along to others in turn. Intention Odysseys represent all of that to her.

Fouche said that these are gifts that could take the shape of almost anything, a box, a concrete container, a book. It can be anything. The six friends then dress the gift with found items, kept items and messages.

“I don’t know how to explain it, but a lot of our personal journeys through life are also contained in the thinking behind the journeys. There are some tips like coping mechanisms and fun experiences for an individual. And it’s an entire journey put together, like a 10-step journey.”

“That’s why we call it an odyssey. It’s really a gift that will keep on giving because you complete one thing and then when you are ready, you open the next gift,” said Fouche.

That’s because each of the found or created items inside the gift, are also wrapped. Recipients open and explore the set at their own pace.

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“Some of them are really simple, but all of them are really, really valuable in a spiritual and emotional sense,” she said.

Items that would otherwise ended up on a landfill

Found items are objects that Fouche and her friends collect that would have otherwise ended up on a landfill.

“You know, the saying one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. This is exactly it,” she explained. Other items could include handmade incense holders, candles, and custom-made jewellery amongst others.

It is an interactive way of exploring yourself, of healing and managing internal trauma.

But it can also be a tool to nurture positivity through affirmations, wishes and the stock standard for each gift, a pet rock, that also served Fouche with inspiration.

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“My life changed when a friend gave me a plant last year, and it had a rock in the soil which I didn’t notice at first,” she said. But once acquainted with it, she named it Klip (rock in Afrikaans).

“I travelled round the entire South Africa and Zimbabwe showing the world to my rock, and I learned so many lessons from it. That’s why we want to give everybody a rock.”

“It grounds you back into the moment. The here and now. And if you believe you’re carrying luck with you, you are,” she said about the role a pet rock can play in terms of shifting consciousness.

Gratitude bells

Other meaningful additions to the odysseys are gratitude bells, a reminder whenever it sounds, to take a breather and be grateful for everything that you may have.

“After all, it’s not the bell, it’s not the rock. It’s the intention that comes with it,” she said.

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“My dream is to have a big workshop space where we can make these things, have people come in, do workshops on how to make candles, how to make all different kinds of interesting goodies and crystals. And it’s just a creative combined space,” said Fouche.

But while she’s getting ready to take the next step, she shared an open invitation to anyone who feels desirous to join up and cocreate, to seek her and her friends out.

“If you have a stash of what some people might call trash like old seashells, it might be old gifts and wrapping paper and everything that you’ve collected over the years or even something sentimental like beads, and you don’t want them anymore, share it with us so that we can create journeys for others,” she added.

78 different kinds of emotions or states of being that she would like to tackle

And while there have only been a handful of odysseys made and shared to date, Fouche has compiled a list of 78 different kinds of emotions or states of being that she would like to tackle in future odyssey endeavours.

“It’s amazing how the universe works,” she said, “because sometimes we create a new gift with intention, and the perfect recipient just comes along.”

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Though, personalised sets created, based on a brief about an individual, are also possible.