Observation opens interior doors


The documentary Albatross (97 min | USA), directed by multimedia artist Chris Jordan, emphasizes a gigantic problem of modern societies, the plastic disseminated in the environment. It is not a denunciation, but a reflection on the part of the director, who guides the spectators, through the images, towards their own reflection.

This film takes its name from the mythical bird that appears in several poems, such as the one that lends its verses to the beginning of the documentary, by the poet Samuel Coleridge. Or that of Baudelaire in which he calls "these vast birds of the ocean" to that species. The albatross is a bird with long flights, capable of crossing the Pacific Ocean. It is no small thing if we take into account the calamities that the human being had to face to achieve such a feat.

The Midway Islands, in the North Pacific. This is where the encounter between the documentalist and a huge colony of albatrosses that gather there to procreate occurs. It could be said that the central theme of the film is the environmental problem that humans have unleashed due to our mode of production and consumption. But the director really goes further, because suddenly we find ourselves immersed in a meditation on beauty and destruction, life and death, the past and the future of the Earth, its species, including humanity, and the way we can act from our trench to solve this and other similar problems.

In this atoll of the Pacific one of the many confrontations between Japan and the United States happened many years ago. Today the military installations lie abandoned, at the mercy of the elements. They contrast with the population of albatrosses and other species of birds whose habitat is that corner of the world. While the images unfold, the director reflects, and guides us, through this mirror of our society, as images run of cadavers of albatrosses with the belly bursting with plastic waste. Consequence of our collective decisions.

As it were, the documentary forces us to observe the exposed bowels of our society. And, consequently, we observe our interior, our participation in that society and its dynamics. Which, as a rule, we do not question, since they are frames of reference that are given to us by family, friends, institutions, and so on.

Learn to see a global problem on a personal scale, is what the documentalist Chris Jordan proposes through this piece, as a journal, with the equanimity of the experiments that we offer here. Responsibility, Consciousness and Willingness to participate in your own ACT Ivism, towards Human Sustainability. The original name of the island means the high sound of the birds. It refers to the number of albatrosses that meet every year, around one million. Through these details that build history, we realize what it means to perceive the world through the eyes of other living beings.

The images of the mating rituals are an experience of non-human time, a different way of guiding us towards the understanding that everything that lives has a degree of consciousness about its existence. This form of collaboration to create a new life, should lead us to reflect on our own collaboration in the world. How are we part of this problem that year after year costs the lives of hundreds of young albatrosses, fed with plastic due to the high pollution rates in the seas?

In this act of observing, as the director tells us, a door opens into our interior. At last we understand that the death of another living being is the theme of all. At that time we asked ourselves, how can we collaborate, from our trench, to solve this problem? How to take our place in the universe, no more, no less.

Disambiguation of Activism

In the narrative of Human Sustainability we propose you to be an Act Ivist audience, how can we take our place in the universe, no more, no less. What are my individual abilities to respond and participate, simultaneously integrating from the aspects reflected in the pain and injustice. My inner commitment from my equitable and total presence to flow to the collective body of which we are all part. From this awareness organically flow and identify specific lines and ways of learning and serving through this and all context, here and now.

1. What moves you most about this documentary? Why is that what moves you the most?

2. Starting with you, how can you participate in a context like the one shown?

3. What would you like to be different?

4. How can you accept what it is and from that space expand the possibilities that this can take a path towards human sustainability?

5. What are the ways of separating from other humans involved in the problem that the documentary exposes? Who are the others? How do you rescue the human essence in them and in yourself, awakening empathy?

6. What is the way to separate yourself from your own humanity here and now, when you judge and judge the circumstances of your life?

7. How do you inspire to be the integral transformation, and from your abundance move the energy towards collective participations as equanimous as determined here and now taking your place in the universe, no more and no less?

Activism, EnglishClaudia Flores