The Colony

Dinh Q. Lê

This video is no longer available

Dinh Q. Lê, The Colony (still), 2016. Courtesy of the artist and Artangel.

e-flux presents Ecology After Nature: Industries, Communities, and Environmental Memory The Colony
Dinh Q. Lê

53 Minutes
Comissioned by Artangel

October 25–November 7, 2020

Join us on e-flux Video & Film for an online screening of Dinh Q. Lê’s The Colony (2016), on view for two weeks from Sunday, October 25 through Saturday, November 7, 2020.

This three-part video is loosely based on nineteenth-century depictions of a cluster of islands off of the west coast of Peru that are rich in guano, a powerful fertilizer. Exploring the drama of absurdity, greed, and human suffering—all for the brown gold of bird excrement—the film revisits three important episodes in the islands’ infamous history: the nineteenth-century imperial wars between Spain and its former colonies Peru and Chile; the horrific fate of the indentured Chinese laborers; and the US Guano Act of 1856 that authorized over one hundred claims for uninhabited islands, reefs, and atolls in the Pacific and Atlantic.

The Colony is presented here as one of four films in Anthropocentric Pasts and Planetary Futures, or Death as New Beginning, the sixth and final program in the online film and discussion series Ecology After Nature: Industries, Communities, and Environmental Memory programmed by Lukas Brasiskis for e-flux Video & Film.

Ecology After Nature runs from August 14 through November 8, 2020. On Sunday, November 8, 2020, the series will wrap with a repeat of all 22 films included in Parts One through Six—available for 24 hours from 12am to 11:59pm EST.

For more information, contact program [​at​] e-flux.com.

Nature & Ecology, Colonialism & Imperialism, Labor & Work, Film, Posthumanism
Extractivism, Anthropocene, Postcolonialism, Video Art
Return to Part Six | Anthropocentric Pasts and Planetary Futures

Dinh Q. Lê was born in Hà Tiên in South Vietnam. He is the co-founder of Sàn Art in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where he has been based for the past decade. He creates conceptually based multimedia work that reflects on the complex history of Vietnam, issues of war, displaced populations, and the depiction of non-western cultures in western media


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