Thursday, 3 December
A Matter of (In)digestions: On Seeds and Landscapes
We abide by the rules as set by the RIVM and we will have only 15 guests per screening. You can drop by at Cavia an hour before each screening to make a reservation at the bar. While at our venue, be mindful to remain at 1.5 meter distance from other people. We trust all to be responsible with their health and hygiene check.
Proposing a reflection on food logistics and the agency of plants, the screening features two films: one by Florence Lazar, You Think That the Earth Is a Dead Thing (2019), and one by Jumana Manna, Wild Relatives (2018). Both films address from different perspectives the legacy and genealogy of the colonial logic of exploitation. They question the rise of contemporary monoculture and its tensions with ancestral knowledge, local scientific practices and traditional agriculture. Remarkably, the films are also an ode to forms of resistance that are being organized around the globe.
The screening is organised as part of the festival ‘A Matter of (In)digestions’ organised by La Cocina in October-November 2020 in various venues around Amsterdam as well as online.
Jumana Manna | 2018 | 64'
Deep in the earth beneath the Arctic permafrost, seeds from all over the world are stored in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault to provide a backup should a disaster strike. Wild Relatives starts from an event that has sparked media interest worldwide: in 2012 an international agricultural research center was forced to relocate from Aleppo to Lebanon due to the Syrian Revolution turned war, and began a laborious process of planting their seed collection from the Svalbard back-ups. Following the path of this transaction of seeds between the Arctic and Lebanon, a series of encounters unfold a matrix of human and non-human lives between these two distant spots of the earth. It captures the articulation between this large-scale international initiative and its local implementation in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon, carried out primarily by young migrant women. The meditative pace patiently teases out tensions between state and individual, industrial and organic approaches to seed saving, climate change and biodiversity, witnessed through the journey of these seeds.
YOU THINK THAT THE EARTH IS A DEAD THING
Florence Lazar | 2019 | 70'
The film looks at the “global ecological crisis” from the perspective of the island of Martinique. The context is one of widespread pollution resulting from the intensive use of chlordecone. For over twenty years, the carcinogenic insecticide was used by a small group of descendants of the first colonial slaveholders to settle in the French West Indies, in order to protect the banana plantations that dominate Martinique’s export industry. The various protagonists of the film explore alternative approaches in the fight against environmental destruction using ancestral practices and knowledge. Thus, the portrayal of nature constantly shifts: sometimes it appears domesticated and exploited on a massive scale, at other times, contaminated by unseen toxic substances, or, again, as an ally in the struggle for survival.
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