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Radical Film Night #2: Protecting Country

Friday nights around these parts are film nights, so following on from our earlier offering on Mwni Wiconi & the Black Snake, here’s another indy docu film about the clash of First Nations lifeways and capital.


I think that the importance of hearing these Adnyamathanha and other voices cannot be overstated, not if we are in any way interested in activism, environmentalism, cultural or critical thought.

  • It’s a depressing conclusion, but it’s worth thinking about whether the colonizing Empire ever really went away, or whether it exchanged its bayonets and rifles for stocks and shares. [the Maralinga Tests] How different are events like this, happening in the 21stC, from 19thC governments deciding to clear indigenous people from profitable land? Or the Inclosures Acts?
  • Listening to this story makes me think about the UK’s own struggles between environment and capital – Cumbria and the Scottish Western Isles (possibly Wylfa B on Anglesey) being the future storage sites for toxic sludge – as well as the omnipresent fracking threat happening everywhere. How different these struggles might be if we had a more living and lived connection to Country; its importance, its stories, and our responsibilities to it.
  • But because I like to end these things on a positive note: I remain heartened by this struggle – the importance of the Adnyamathanha stories, as well as the Mwni Wiconi awareness that is standing against DAPL, Keystone XL and the Alberta Tar Sands. It feels like the environmental movement is done with trying to argue with capital in the language of capital – statistics show this, they have to prove that a certain site is of especial rare scientific interest before it gets a reprieve…

Biophilic: (of, or under the spell of biophilia); a love of living systems and natural forms. Generally cited as first used by German philosopher Eric Fromm as the “attraction to life, and all that is vital.” Later developed by evolutionary psychologist E.O Wilson to describe an in-built need across living systems to associate and surround oneself with other other forms of life. A beautiful reading of the above has inspired permaculturists, eco-architecture, and sustainable design (as opposed to functionalistic modernism).

(Another thanks to my wife and angel of my better brain for discovering this during her work on sustainable textiles!)


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