Still from Common Heritage. 26 minutes, sound. 2018
The drive to explore and exploit the sea floor means this once seemingly infinite landscape is now being carved up into territorial space. Common Heritage is an urgent response to the gold rush of deep-sea mining, exposing how reverberant layers of industrialisation and colonialism have affected the way we relate to our environment. Highlighting fantasies we construct around exploration, the film draws into focus how these romanticized stages are in fact borders of conquest, annexed for geopolitical territory appropriation and mineral resources. In 1967, Arvid Pardo, the Maltease Ambassador to the UN gave a speech, which instigated the Common Heritage of Mankind principle. This speech narrated by science fiction writer, Gwyneth Jones is the provocation for the film. Dystopian science fiction motifs are harmonized with a poetic montage of deep-sea exploration archive footage. This juxtaposition sets up questions about our current state and how we should move forward into these frontiers
Common Heritage was conceived during the 'Culture & Climate Change: Future Scenarios' residency, funded by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation, the University of Sheffiled, Open University, Grantham Sustainable Futures and the Ashden Trust. Film production was funded by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation.
Produced by: Elena Hill
Editor: Sergio Vega Borrego
Sound & Music: Nicolas Becker with Lucy Railton & Stefan Smith