WEBINAR: Undermine - A Women's Activist Community in Response to Fracking. Environmental Lunchtime Discussion

Something violent is occurring beneath their feet. A fracking site is constructed. The subsurface is being fractured. Artist and filmmaker Rebecca Birch presents narrated excerpts from her forthcoming creative documentary, Undermine.

people, women, hands, arms

Photo: Undermine production still. Rebecca Birch.

Undermine records the experiences of a community campaigning against fracking in Lancashire, UK. It is made with the cooperation of the community of local protectors, many of them middle-aged women, who are engaging in political action for the first time in their lives. The film explores the phenomenon of this generally overlooked demographic of older women finding their political voices, as their daily lives become destabilised. Following these women over three years of protest, at the roadside outside the fracking site, and in their domestic lives, the film investigates the psychological implications of being undermined, environmentally, democratically and emotionally.

Undermine is not a protest film, it is a film about our relationship to the ground that we walk on, the land that we live upon, and how, when the stability of this physical, emotional and political bedrock is threatened, the routines of our daily lives begin to unravel.

About Rebecca Birch

Rebecca Birch makes art works that communicate the relationship between people and their local landscapes, exploring how we relate to the landscapes that we inhabit, the 'ground' that is the backdrop for our daily lives. Engaging with geology, botany, lichenology, but primarily, people, her works are developed from spending time with people in their local environments. The final art works are presented as performance, story telling, audio-visual installations and long-form films.

Rebecca Birch currently lives and works just outside Oslo, in Nittedal, having relocated from London in 2017. She was educated at Slade School of Art and Goldsmiths College, was awarded a PhD from Loughborough University in 2019, and from 2014-2018 was Lecturer in Fine Art at Lancaster University. She has exhibited widely, and has recently presented solo exhibitions at Waino Aaltonen Museum, Finland (2019), The Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool (UK) (2018) and at fig-2 at Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (2015). She is the recipient of a number of awards and residencies including The Banff Centre, Canada, CCA Creative Lab, Glasgow, and LUX Associate Artists Programme. From 2010-2017 she initiated and co-directed (with artist Rob Smith) the live broadcast art project, Field Broadcast, transmitting live artworks direct from remote locations to computer desktops.


About the event series

The OSEH Environmental Lunchtime Discussion series consists of short, 10-15 minute presentations by invited guests, followed by a discussion. We invite speakers from a wide variety of fields, both academic and beyond. The presentations are accessible and are aimed at anyone with an interest in environmental issues. All are welcome.

Tags: Environmental Humanities, HF, IKOS, OSEH, Film, activism, Politics, Environmentalism
Published May 6, 2020 1:09 PM - Last modified May 28, 2020 10:57 AM