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Natural Disasters (Urban Myths, Urban Legends)

Grace Ndiritu

UK, 2007
6 minutes, Colour, sound
Available formats: DVD / Digibeta tape / SD Digital file

This video is an attempt to continue the linage of environmental filmmaking started by the Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqqatsi films. These films by Gogfrey Reggio were inspired the Hopi words given to the titles to mean Life out of balance and Life in transformation. The Native American relationship to nature is one of omnipresence and does not distinguish in terms of status and power between human beings and the natural world. In contrast the Westernized ideology of conquest and exploitation has produced a ‘model’ of nature, a simulated reality in which most BBC Natural History documentaries from 1983 until today have used the same footage again and again, to distort growing scientific consensus on human involvement and the increase of global warming, in order to remain impartial. The consequence being that the wider debate has been skewed and has left 40% of the British public still ignorant on this important subject. Through the suppression of information and regurgitation of images this has come to constitute a hyper-reality, a media reality more real than the real, where one news disaster follows another without any reflection in between. This video uses found footage, animation and performance to reflect on how this phenomenon occurs.