Alaskans looking for some inspiration to travel won’t want to miss “World School,” a photography exhibit and film that will be shown in Anchorage in September. The photos and 45-minute documentary chronicle the year long, global trip taken by Alaska Filmmaker and mom Mary Katzke and her at that time 5th grade son, Corin. “World School” shows parents and children how traveling can be an amazing education for all ages, and it seeks to inspire more families to “take the leap and go travel for a gap year”.
In 2010, Mary and Corin Katzke sold everything and left Anchorage with two backpacks, two knapsacks and a suitcase full of books. They had one-way tickets to Ireland and a wish list in hand, but no further itinerary. They continued heading East for the entire school year, covering three continents: Europe, Africa and Asia. In the course of their travels, they visited 28 countries and used nearly every form of transportation invented.
They stayed with Servas families in Malaysia and Scotland, traveled around Africa on an exotic cruise ship and rode bicycles across rice fields in Vietnam. Corin, now an 8th grader at Romig Middle School, grew five inches, lost nine teeth and put on 15 pounds. The question he is most asked is, “what was your favorite place?” He is happy to tell them it was Dubai and China.
While Mary admits the idea of going around the world had always been in the back of her mind, it took a family tragedy to give her the courage to actually do it.
“Kids grow up so quickly and there is no getting that time back,” said Mary Katzke. “Family travel allows both education, and the chance to savor this precious time.”
Katzke says the two things people said to them most during their travels were 1) they wished they had done that when their kids were young, and, 2) how did you pull this off? She tells them that they can do it, it’s not an impossible dream.
The World School documentary was made possible through crowd-source funding with over 90 supporters, and matches from the Alaska International Education Foundation, the Rasmuson Foundation and USA Artists. A grant from the Atwood Foundation will allow the development of a discussion guide for parents and educators to use with the film.
Photographs from this unique adventure will be featured in large format prints on canvas. The 45-minute documentary film shows how the Katzkes did their trip and encourages others to follow their lead. Vanessa Cochran, a frequent collaborator on Affinityfilms’ productions, edited the film and the original music score was composed by Josh Sulfano, a young talented musician from Los Angeles creating his first film score.
World School Photography Exhibit
Hugi Lewis Gallery (1008 W Northern Lights Blvd)
Friday, September 6th – 5 PM (through September)
World School Documentary
Bear Tooth Theater (1230 W 27th Ave)
Monday, September 16 – 5:30 PM
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