TerraForma (Laurence Durkin & Kevin Brennan, 2023, Ireland, 62 min)
TerraForma is the story of the remote volcanic island of Ascension, which sat smoldering for a million years largely devoid of life, until its radical transformation by process of 'terraforming' into a tropical paradise.
But there is more to this island than meets the eye. The Victorian naturalists who transformed this island reshaped the ecology to fit the political and economic demands of their society - but only at the expense of what existed before it. The new environment, seemingly a paradise, was in fact a mirage. A mirror image of their ambition, their empire, and their understanding of the world. And as such it was doomed to fail. Many believe that future plans to geo-engineer our planet, or terraform others, would simply follow the same pattern.
With the help of experts in the fields of geo-engineering, ecology, politics, and design, TerraForma explores the lessons we could learn from Ascension Island. And what its story may mean for our planet, in a future where terraformed landscapes and human-engineered environments may come to warp our understanding of 'nature' itself.
Preceded by: Bloom (Helena Girón & Samuel M. Delgado, Spain, 2023, 18 min)