Navigating Rituals


Our rituals are changed when we are forced to migrate; our wayfinding, and history, is disrupted when public memorials and space are moved.

The way we move about and interact with each other in our cities can seem routine, but when faced with changing circumstances can take on very different meanings. When everything closes down, we realize our morning walk to the bus stop is actually our ritual for welcoming a new day. A makeshift memorial on the sidewalk can instantly move us into a space of ritual, just as landmark removal can shift how we tell directions and even understand our history. The films in this program look at the way we interact, see, and acknowledge each other and the world around us on the streets of cities, and collapse the space between ritual and routine.


Ronald R. Sundstrom (Moderator)


Sue Ding


Sarah Garrahan


Carlo Nasisse



East Side
USA | 2017 | 10 mins. | Directed by Carlo Nasisse and Patricia Noguera
East Side is an observational film composed of serendipitous encounters in the quickly changing neighborhood of East Austin. Through these we see how larger forces seep into everyday life.

USA | 2023 | 27 Mins. | Directed by Sarah Garrahan and Sue Ding
An observational journey through the lives of six strangers, Passersby celebrates the vibrant panorama of Los Angeles communities and the often overlooked intersections between them. The film is an ode to the everyday, the unexpected, and the ways we navigate our lives in both loneliness and community.
Together with our characters, we embark on an intimate journey through the urban landscape and the delights of the quotidian.

The Face of a City
Directed by Farhad Pakdel
The stories of four Iranian families who emigrate to Canada and the city they leave behind.

Ghost Bikes
Directed by Ethan Brooks
There are over 150 white-painted bicycles chained up throughout New York City. Each bike represents a cyclist killed in traffic – each is placed at the scene of the crash.
Mirza puts up the bikes. He remembers these fallen cyclists when everyone else seems to have forgotten them.