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Before I discuss the exhibition I want to explain some experiences and thoughts which have led to it. There are two parts to this story. The first is this: I was for a number of years a photojournalist...
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Life’s problems almost never offer ‘either/or’. Nothing is truly clear, little is completely understood and even less is fully right or wrong. Making photographs begins with curiosity and with an itch ...
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THIS GOOD EARTH(working titile)
is the latest of Robert’s independent film productions. For more information, see below:
recent video work.
As he films he frequently shoots stills that give him a photographic record of events, provide images to become part of an exhibition associated with the film, and a tool to help define the ideal look of each film scene once edited in Photoshop.
The following photographs and screen-grabs begin in February and March with Simon Holland, a local farmer picking purple sprouting broccoli and with cows being moved from distant organic fields to the main farm. The sequence moves through spring’s sheep shearing, planting and harvesting to the end of the year when Dorset Mummers – an ancient form of folk theatre depicting the struggle between good and evil- entertain with their songs and medieval costumes, both of which engage pre-Christian beliefs about the earth’s rich bounty.
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THIS GOOD EARTH
will be a 90 minute documentary about how the human right* to good, safe, culturally sensitive and adequate food is being denied in many parts of the world, including in the UK through poverty, lack of education and the imposition of commercials. The denial of these rights is partly a consequence of the nature of industrial farming, which is bound into a system of markets and profits that are standing in the path of urgently needed changes.
The film will be ready for distribution in late spring 2020.
As farming and the rest of the food production and distribution system produce 30% of the UK’s green house gas emissions, these changes are contributing not only to people’s poor health but to global warming that 99% of scientists agree is the most urgent matter facing humanity, but which corporations, policy-makers and politicians are refusing to confront as an emergency. The film is centered on Dorset in southwest England, which in many ways reflects much of the agri-industial world of farming.
The film will have interviews with scientist (including Professors Tim Lang, Erik Millstone and Jules Pretty), farmers, doctors and public health officials as well as bakers, cooks and members of the general public, all of whom share the daily need for good food, and often deep fear about what the future holds for their children and grandchildren.
*The right to food is recognized in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights as part of the right to an adequate standard of living, and is enshrined in the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.