Every year the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) holds annual weekend of talks, panels and films, Conversation Starters. The 2019 event, held June 1-2, will link in with the museum’s current exhibition Janet Laurence’s work, centering around the theme of climate change. Part of the program will include a series of documentaries about the fragility of the natural world and the impact of humans on the planet.
IF has two special film bundles to giveaway, allowing two lucky people tickets to see each of the four documentaries in the program. To win, email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us in 100 words or less why you think film is a powerful medium to affect action on climate change.
The films in this year’s festival are:
The Kingdom: How Fungi Made the World
Witness a film on the largest and oldest organisms alive today. Fungi brought life back to Earth after the last mass extinction, and their untapped power have the potential to help our species to survive on our poisoned, depleted and warmer planet. In the context of evolution and natural history, scientists are looking at fungi and making life-changing discoveries. Some fungi will save us, others will threaten us, and we are just beginning to differentiate between the two.
Post-film speaker: Diego Bonetto – naturalist, artist, foraging and wild food advocate
Deep in the earth beneath Norwegian permafrost, seeds from all over the world are stored in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault – a backup should disaster strike. Wild Relatives starts from an event that has sparked media interest worldwide: in 2012 an international agricultural research centre was forced to relocate from Aleppo to Lebanon due to the Syrian Revolution turned war, and began a laborious process of planting their seed collection from the Svalbard backups.
Post-film speaker: Dr Karen Sommerville, plant scientist based at the Australian PlantBank
The Life World
The Life Word: An intimate portrait of artist Janet Laurence traces the inspiration and creation of Laurence’s public installations: from the Olympic site at Homebush Bay and the amazing Central Synagogue windows in Sydney to the Australian War Memorial in London’s Hyde Park and Melbourne’s new CH2 Building. Using elements of the environment, the artist reveals the hidden beauty and dangerous fragility of both the natural and cultural worlds.
Post-film speaker: Richard Mordaunt, director of the film.
Undermined: Tales from the Kimberley
Undermined: Tales from the Kimberley (2019) investigates the politics of a vast and as-yet unspoiled Kimberley region, currently under threat from mining, pastoralism and other large-scale development interests backed by state and federal governments. With the highest percentage of Aboriginal people living on Country in Australia, what will this mean for the Kimberley’s custodians, lands and cultures?
Post-film speaker: Stephanie King, writer, producer and Kimberley advocate.