Common Heritage had its film festival premiere screening at the Aesthetica Short Film Festival last month.
The film explores the drive to explore and exploit the sea floor, which 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 for rare earth minerals, exposing how reverberant layers of industrialisation 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 Maltese 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.
More information about the festival here: https://www.asff.co.uk/