2023, short-film, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Images of disfigured landscapes, extinct villages, stories of survival, and interviews with communities affected by coal extraction intertwine to reconstruct an awareness of what we are losing.
Our species has transformed from a simple biological agent to a geological force [1]. This is one reason why the scientific community has defined the current geological epoch as the "Anthropocene," in which human activities have modified territorial and climatic structures, impacting geological processes [2]. The SEDIMENTI project focuses on the impact of coal in the Western collective imagination. It analyzes and compares anthropological, social, and philosophical perspectives on the subject. Coal has been considered one of the energy resources that contributed to human development until today, becoming one of the main causes of the climate crisis. The complexity of the issue is likened to a black hole [3] due to the difficulty of finding alternative solutions to extraction, which currently seems inevitable even for renewable energies [4].

In the scarcity of future imaginaries, the position that the artistic-anthropological research of the UCCI UCCI duo wants to take is to bring issues to the encounter. The future imaginary must arise from a moment of generative encounter. The role of art as a crystalline imposition of facts through the aesthetic filter of Greek tragedy, linguistic experimentation, and the coexistence of actor-subjects. Greek tragedy was an aesthetic device for the cathartic reworking of crucial issues in ancient Greece. We consider this approach necessary to catalyze and problematize contemporary situations. Tragedy employs aesthetic devices to represent and address, through new perspectives, the birth of future imaginaries.

The Project

In this first part of the project, the focus is on extinct and endangered villages due to coal extraction, at the largest coal mine in Europe: Garzweiler, in Germany, in the North Rhine-Westphalia region.

[1] “The Climate of History”,Dipesh Chakrabarty, 2009
[2] “The Anthropocene”,Paul Crutzen, 2000
[3] "Down the black hole, Sustaining national socio-technical imaginaries of coal in Poland", Kuchler M., Bridge G., 2018
[4] “The Anthropology of Resource Extraction”,Lorenzo D'Angelo, Robert Jan Pijpers, 2022