‘Northbound’ documentary at Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam
Two Urbanism graduates have been selected to display their documentary ‘Northbound’ at the Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam 2019. The documentary about Europe’s most northern province Finnmark in Norway focusses on the pressure of incoming extractive industries in the Arctic on the landscape and local cultures.
Boaz Peters and Mark Slierings created the documentary as a means of analysing the province of Finnmark as part of their graduation projects within the graduation studio 'Transitional territories'. Finnmark consists of a stretched-out landscape, home to only a small part of the Norwegian population. The ground houses a lot of mineral riches, and it is the primary landing place for new oil and gas explorations in the Barents Sea. Sea ice recession in the Arctic greatly increases trade possibilities with China, cutting down the traditional Suez route by several days. A new projected railway line through Finland connects the in Finnmark situated harbour town Kirkenes to the Baltic States and further down to Central Europe, all leading to an expected rapid industrial transition.
What will this transition and economic expansion mean for local culture? How will the only indigenous peoples of Europe, the Sámi, and their inseparable connection with herding reindeer, cope under this transition? Will Finnmark thrive under the coming industries or subdue under its destruction?
Already the issuing of permits is causing the inhabitants to be divided over whether to choose for preservation of a natural condition, or exploit the landscape for economic growth and job development.
Boaz and Mark: “With this in mind, we left to make a documentary along the several small villages and the majestic stretched out landscape of Finnmark. Along the road trip, we documented people’s perspectives, many fascinating fjords, large numbers of reindeer and already existing industries. We were struck by the amount of processes which are covertly happening. Locals in general seem to be extremely divided, invoking either anger or hope, when talking about industries. What helps for the industries is that the greatly stretched out landscape morphology allows them to operate in a more covert way. Globalisation is pervasive, and it is profoundly affecting local cultural livelihoods.”
The documentary will be displayed in the LantarenVenster, Rotterdam, on 11 October, 19:00. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam.