In recent years, countless extreme weather events clearly indicate that climate change is not only a future phenomenon but is already taking place. Some effects of global warming—desertification, more frequent droughts, less frequent but more intense precipitation, lower crop yields—inflame existing social conflicts. In the Global South, climate change aggravates the crises of poverty, violence, and unrest that result from the legacies of colonialism and neoliberal capitalism. This vicious circle fuels humanitarian crises and civil wars that amplify political, economic and environmental disasters.
Despite clear warnings, the ruling powers do not have a political agenda with a serious strategy to reduce use of fossil fuels, the main cause of global warming. A fossil-fuel fundamentalism seems to dominate throughout the globe.
Recently, some of Norway’s politicians have advocated extracting petroleum in one of the largest fish and aquatic life spawning grounds on the planet, the sea encircling the Lofoten archipelago. The deepwater drilling would have unpredictable effects on the fish populations and some of the world’s cleanest waters. With the idyllic landscapes of the Lofoten archipelago as its background, Leave It in the Ground describes the climate crisis not as a technical and scientific problem, but as a political problem. The film discusses how ecological and humanitarian disasters caused through global warming might topple old orders and open up possibilities that could lead to long-term social and political transformations, both positive and negative.
Oliver Ressler, born 1970, lives and works as an artist and filmmaker in Vienna, Austria, and produces exhibitions, projects in the public space, and films on issues such as economics, democracy, global warming, forms of resistance and social alternatives. His projects have been in solo exhibitions at the Berkeley Art Museum, USA; Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center, Istanbul; Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade; Centro Cultural Conde Duque, Madrid; Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum, Egypt; BunkierSztuki Contemporary Art Gallery, Krakow and The Cube Project Space, Taipei. A retrospective of his 17 films took place at Centre d’ArtContemporain Genève throughout 2013.