Wiehl, Anna. (2023, June 21). Entangled Ecologies. Interactive Documentary between Living Archive, Responsible Witnessing and Relational Co-Creation. In TraMeTraMi: Vols. 3-2023. Zenodo. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.8062821 

Recent re-conceptualizations of participation as well as theories of digital transformation culture have shifted the notion of the archive seeing not so much as a static, institutional body but rather as a dynamic, living epistemic environments. Building on these approaches, this presentation discusses emerging phenomena in interactive documentary focusing on ecological emergency – seeing this crisis itself as a complex ecology of issues where images and conceptualization past, present and future meet. Taking paradigmatic projects addressing the issue of climate change – The Shore Line (2017) and Climate Witness Project (2019) – I suggest tentative answers to the question in which way i-docs can contribute to tackle complex change. Are there images from the past which help us to better cope with the present and to envision a more sustainable future? How can one raise awareness of immanent ecological risks when menace is almost invisible, unprecedented and un-imaginable? Is there a way to negotiate multifaceted entanglements through documentaries which are neither paralyzing ecodystopian narratives nor naive ecotopian success-stories? The hypothesis underlying my approach is that one possible solution resides in documentaries which are built on principles of pluri-perspectivity and polyphony to transcend dualisms and to build bridges leading from history to the forthcoming. Discourses from various traditions are brought into dialogue: theories of documentary film meet ecocriticism; network theory encounters reflections on the epistemic dimension of non-fiction; and concepts of co-creation and intervention are related to processes of witnessing, doing documentary and responsible action-taking. 

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