Deep Weather

Ursula Biemann

2013, 09:00 minutes, Colour, English


Oil and water are taken as the two primordial liquids that form the undercurrents of all narrations as they activate profound changes in the planetary ecology. The video draws a connection between the relentless reach for fossil resources with their toxic impact on the climate, and the consequences this has for indigenous populations in remote parts of the world.

The video begins by documenting the huge open pit extraction zone in the tar sands in the midst of the vast boreal forests of Northern Canada. After the oil peak, ever dirtier, remote and deeper layers of carbon resources are being accessed now. Aerial recording of the devastated crust in the state of Alberta opens the view into the dark lubricant geology. Aggressive mining, steam processing and evacuation of the tar-sands are impinging on environmental and human rights as they devastate territories of First Nation people.

Melting Himalayan ice fields, rising planetary sea levels and extreme weather events increasingly define the amphibian lifestyle imposed on the Bangladeshi population. Climate change, exasperated by projects such as the Canadian tar sands, puts the life of large world populations in danger. The video documents the gigantic community effort in building protective mud embankments. Hands on work by thousands without any mechanic help is what climate change will mean for most people in the Deltas of the global south. These are the measures taken by populations who progressively have to live on water when large parts of Bangla will be submerged and water is declared the territory of citizenship.

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