May 29, 2011

Native tar sands = Mordor?

Why is The Hobbit being filmed in the Tar Sands?

By Syed HussanPeter Jackson has announced that the Alberta Tar Sands, what Naomi Klein calls the apex of disaster capitalism, will serve as the location for The Hobbit's Mordor scenes. You can watch Peter Jackson's video blog here, the Alberta government's film site here, and already a facebook group has emerged condemning it.

For those of you just tuning in, The Alberta Tar Sands, or the Alberta Oil Sands are the world's second largest industrial project where either massive machines rip off the top layer of soil, drill holes in to the ground or inject steam (i.e water), solvents or hot air into these holes, which causes dirty, viscous stuff to rise to the top. This stuff is refined either on site or elsewhere where it's sent by special pipelines, and then sold. Imagine slicing into the planet, waiting for it to become infected, and then pressing into the infection to drain out the puss, leaving just enough puss for the infection to get worse and spread.

This destructive project has particularly targetted Indigenous communities. "Our lands, bodies, and spirits are intimately connected as Indigenous Peoples," says Erin Konsmo from the Native Youth Sexual Health Network. "As Indigenous women our bodies and reproductive health are specifically tied to the health of the land--we are both life-givers. The Tar Sands is a specific colonial attack on our bodies as a place where self-determination remains in the community. War on the land is a war on our bodies: 'place' is a critical element to reproductive justice."
Comment:  How ironic is it that a Native territory decimated by industrial pollution may serve as a movie setting for hellish evil? About as ironic as putting a concentration camp on a reservation. In other words, very ironic.

For more on the subject, see Cameron Criticizes Oilsands "Curse" and Canada's Avatar Sands.

2 comments:

Melissa said...

I guess the one positive thing in all this is that the filming will call attention to this horror. I, for example, am hearing about this for the first time, and I'm sure a lot more people will now.

L.E. Falcone said...

Do a Google image search on tar sands and try not to be disgusted. Shameful.

The fact that they're filming there just boggles the mind.