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The Land by Pieter Geenen

While walking through the landscape the camera explores the so called Canadian tobacco belt of Southwestern Ontario. In the footsteps of the first European settlers on the American continent, the viewer discovers how the historical process of colonization, cultivation and exploitation of the land is still being reflected in present day reality.

In this particular region the tobacco plant was part of that process. Taken out of its native context and its original use by indigenous people, it became part of an industry developed by European migrants (of which many were Belgian) during the twentieth century. The film addresses how the land got cultivated, how cultures vanished, how identities faded or shifted, and how colonial powers still are resonating today. The audience is taken from native chants and seemingly unspoiled nature to the Vanden Bussche Irrigation Company where the son of this Belgian pioneer explains different techniques to work and improve the land. It ends at a tobacco plantation where the Creole speaking Jamaican seasonal labourers picked up some ultimate Flemish words from the farmer of Belgian descent they are working for. However funny and harmless they may seem, they do reveal some colonial power structures which go back to the era of Belgian Congo.

artwork info

HD / colour / stereo / English, Patois, Flemish spoken / 50:33 min / 16:9 / 2015

Limited Edition of 5 + 5 AP

Available Edition 3 of 5 — Price Upon Request

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