Film The Most Beautiful Catastrophe

The Most Beautiful Catastrophe from APART on Vimeo.

APART collective made a visit to the region of upper Nitra to
film a short movie, concerning coal mining and its impact
on the living environment. It is our contribution, on how we
try to approach ever so more growing threat of the climate
change, which became a crucial topic for us to examine by
artistic and activistic means. The film ties to the last year’s
exhibition Continuously Growing Underground Stems: Geopoetics
in time of Anthropocene, where we worked in close
cooperation with Lukás Likavcan to elaborate the topic of
technological progress and its impact on global warming
and on the contrary, the question of geopoetical writing with
the planet, not about the planet.

What Chernobyl means for nuclear energy, climate changes
means for technologies driven by fossil fuels. The way we approach
our future can therefore leave nothing to chance – we
must plan, think, recalculate and contextualize our existence
within the planetary ecosystem. That is why we need radical
political and technological imagination which pulls down
the ideas of what the limits and possibilities of individual
human bodies are.

We chose Kosovsko-Laskár wetlands as a key motive, located
in the Central-Western Slovakia, rare and probably the
only example of emerging wetlands and marshes in Slovakia.
They form as a by-product of the underground extraction
of coal near the Nitra river. These wetlands have been
created for over 40 years of coal mining done under the surface.
The landscape has been changed, large sinkholes have
been created, affecting the housing. This landscape change
has pushed people away from the area, forming biotopes as
a way for the nature to even out with the radical intervention
to the ecosystem. After several years it was abused again by a
crisis situation in the still operating mine, which drained the
water from its flooded bowels to the surface. The miners began
to pump it straight into the creek, their skin was burned.
Water mixture of ash and hydraulic emulsion managed to
kill all life in that creek and all of its ichthyofauna

Things got into movement, when just a week and a half after
our visit of the mines and coal power plant in Nováky, group
of twelve Greenpeace activists climbed on the top of the mining
rig and hanged their transparent – asking for the end of
the coal age . After the expected contact with the police they
were sent to the toughest prison in Ilava to wait for further
hearing under the restriction of their freedom. We consider
the fact that the the seizure of the mines takes authorities
such long time to execute and securing the local miner population
a decent life after the closure an absolute nonsense.
The planned closure of the mines in Slovakia and as well in
other countries is planned in 2030, which is undoubtedly late
with the prognosis of the world climate changes.

The theoretician Benjamin H. Bratton even challenges the
humankind to engage with prudence in the practice of committed
geodesign to avert the impending ecological disaster.
In other words – we need more daring geopoetics and less
stupid geoengineering

Commissioned work by CSW Kronika

for the exhibition The Most Beautiful Catastrophe
curated by Jakub Gawkowski
Bytom, Poland

film by APART Collective

screenplay: Denis Kozerawski
camera and editing: Denis Kozerawski
text: Peter Sit
soundscape: Chaosdroid
production: Andrej Žabkay
voiceover: Chiara Rendeková
excerpt from poem: William Butler Yeats
thanks: Observatory Partizánske