27 November – Manufactured Landscapes

Manchester Film Co-op would like to invite you to an event held over two evenings in conjunction with Platform and Virtual Migrants.

Tuesday 27th November – Film Screening of Manufactured Landscapes

Jennifer Baichwal’s eye-opening documentary follows Ed Burtynsky’s photographic journey through the epic industrial landscapes of China & beyond, exploring “the aesthetic, social and spiritual dimensions of industrialisation and globalisation.” Burtynsky’s own phrase, Manufactured Landscapes parallels the 2003 internationally-acclaimed book of the same name, a retrospective of his unsparing examination of how 200 years of industrialisation has reshaped our natural world on an epic scale. His intention is to capture on camera our moment in the great ages of man; from stone to oil to silicon. To render the invisible visible he captures subjects that are rich in detail and vast in scale. “Recycling yards, quarries and refineries are all places that are outside of our normal experience, yet we partake of their output on a daily basis.”

Whereas Burtynsky’s photographs reveal human beings dwarfed by the massive industrialised landscapes that surround them, Baichwal records the sound and motion of workers subjected to the repetitive strain and monotony of assembling small components within huge manufacturing processes, unveiling the interconnectedness of tiny, medium-sized, large and global. Images of imported post-consumer waste only serve to remind the Western consumer that it is our lifestyle that is fuelling this Chinese “economic miracle”.

 

Time: Doors open at 7:30pm. Screening begins at 8:00pm.

Admission: £3 waged, £2 unwaged/student.

Location: International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Manchester.

Poster: PDF Download

Facebook Event: click here.

 

 

Wednesday 28th November at 6-8pm: Book launch of ‘The Oil Road’

The following evening at the same venue, Virtual Migrants present the latest of their ‘Passenger’ events using live music and spoken word, plus a panel discussion in response to Platform’s new book, The Oil Road. This panel discussion will explore the themes of the book and ask, “How does the sanitisation of difficult, violent processes and imperialist histories inform the fight for climate justice today?”

More information on this second event is available at: http://crudekillings.eventbrite.co.uk

2 Responses to 27 November – Manufactured Landscapes

  1. If you missed the screening or would like to review the documentary it is available online at
    http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/manufactured-landscapes/

    Introduction to Manufactured Landscapes

    Burtynsky’s own phrase, Manufactured Landscapes parallels the 2003 internationally-acclaimed book of the same name, a retrospective of his unsparing examination of how 200 years of industrialization has reshaped our natural world on an epic scale. His intention is to capture on camera our moment in the great ages of man; from stone to oil to silicon. To make these ideas visible he captures subjects that are rich in detail and vast in scale. “Recycling yards, quarries and refineries are all places that are outside of our normal experience, yet we partake of their output on a daily basis.”
    Whereas Burtynsky’s photographs reveal human beings dwarfed by the massive industrialised landscapes that surround them, Baichwal records the sound and motion of workers subjected to the repetitive strain and monotony of assembling small components within huge manufacturing processes, unveiling the interconnectedness of tiny, medium-sized, large and global. Images of imported post-consumer waste only serve to remind the Western consumer that it is our lifestyle that has fuelled this Chinese “economic miracle”.
    “All the ages of man are at work today but we have become totally disconnected from them. There is something we are not seeing. It is sobering to contemplate the collective appetite for our lifestyles and what we are doing to our landscapes. Our dependence on nature to provide the materials for our consumption and our concern for the health of our planet sets us into an uneasy contradiction. For me, these images function as reflecting pools of our times.”

    MFC questions raised by Manufactured Landscapes

    – How do we discover (or fail to discover) the reality of environmental crisis and how do we find solutions? Given that our default source of information has traditionally been the mainstream media, does it matter that this too is owned by private interests, to whom environmental crisis is regarded an inconvenient and well-avoided subject of discussion?

    – Can we evolve industrialisation by steering it towards a sustainable model, which doesn’t tolerate the wasteful/inefficient allocation of resources that is currently at large – where we embrace the circular economic model and increasingly localise food & energy production systems?

    – As global human civilisation becomes increasingly shaped by industrial “progress”, and as we inhabit increasingly artificial environments which estrange us from the natural world, are we at risk of blindly and irreversibly damaging and depleting the biosphere – the seas and soils, upon which we biologically depend for our basic human needs?

    – Are we experiencing a renaissance of celebrating natural systems which have evolved & adapted intelligently during millenia before the emergence of man – and can this steer us towards a balanced path of aligning human systems with natural systems?

    – Does the consumerist lifestyle, bolstered by the power of advertising, necessarily steer us towards a sense of disconnected individualism, rather than one of empowered collectivism?

    – Although westerners have come to value some of the conveniences and benefits of our post- industrial lifestyles, haven’t we also come to recognise the limitations that materialism/consumerism also imposes on us?

    – What forces might slow down or influence the direction of an ongoing Chinese Economic Miracle? Wider crisis due to Climate Change? Peak Oil in largely oil-dependent systems? Resource depletion? Worker unrest?

    -A report in the New York Times on October 25th found that the family of Wen Jiabao – Premier of China’s State Council from 2003 to 2012 – had accumulated assets worth 2.7 billion since he joined the political elite in 1998 14 years ago. How much are we subject to the forces of corruption, (censorship & state control) in the West, mirroring such reports about corruption in China?
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/26/business/global/family-of-wen-jiabao-holds-a-hidden-fortune-inchina.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    MFC questions about the situation of Chinese Industrial workers

    • Is there a political motive – one of the films subjects says “it’s all for our country” – that brings Chinese workers into these monotonous jobs – or is it purely driven by economics? Is the goal “Better economic prosperity for all”, driven by the golden arrow of consumption?

    • How is consumption driven in China – how (much) is advertising used?

    • What are the rules of work – no one seems to be talking or smiling on the job – is this simply their response to the conditions or is it the rules of employment?

    • How are these work conditions – very repetitive jobs in artificial environments – affecting the mental health of workers doing? What are the sales of pharmaceuticals amongst these Chinese workers?
    http://eprints.ucl.ac.uk/111769/

    • The number of economic development zones has risen from 14 in 1984 to 49 in 2006 the year this doc was filmed – is it likely there are plans for further industrial expansion beyond this point?

    MFC Signposts for Manufactured Landscapes Themes

    The Story of Stuff – consumerism explained(65 language versions)

    The Next Industrial RevolutionCradle to Cradle & the Biomimicry movementThe EMF’s Circular Economy ReportWaste = Food (2007)

    Making Sense of China (BBC World Service)

    • DemocracyNow.org – China Labor Watch report on 4000 worker walk out at Apple’s Chinese supplier Foxconn

    IAI Debate on China’s future as a superpower – The Eagle & The Dragon

    Hard Rain Project – Whole Earth? Aligning human systems and natural systems

    Global Power Shift – a new phase in the international climate movement

    Links to reviews of Manufactured Landscapes

    http://old.bfi.org.uk/sightandsound/review/4310

    http://www.boston.com/ae/movies/articles/2007/06/22/an_eloquent_ecological_warning/

  2. Great news that films for action have posted up further relevant films to help us imagine a circular industrial economy where resources are conserved for many generations and waste is food rather than something to bury or burn..
    http://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/waste_food/
    & another doc to herald this possible earth-saving next industrial revolution
    http://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/the_next_industrial_revolution_2002/
    Comments welcome!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>