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German Studies Lecture Series: “The Poetics of Waste and Wastefulness – Fatih Akin Films Garbage in the Garden Eden”

Lecture by Sabine Wilke, University of Washington, Seattle
Confronted with the challenge of cinematically representing mountains of garbage near his ancestral home in north-eastern Turkey and telling the story of the residents of the small village of Çamburnu and their decade-long struggle with the authorities that have turned a former copper mine into a gigantic landfill, Fatih Akin’s 2012 documentary, Müll im Garten Eden, engages the parameters of toxic discourse as discussed by Lawrence Buell in response to Rachel Carson’s claims about the toxic nature of chemical pollutants in her seminal book Silent Spring. Müll im Garten Eden finds a cinematic language to configure the conflicted nature of toxic discourse and deal with the complexities of waste, society, and culture in a parable of modernity and the systemic patterns of environmental degradation. I discuss the societal and cultural circumstances of this film and tie the poetic practice it develops to the principles of production and consumption that create waste in the first place.



Tuesday, November 4, 2014. 12:00 PM




Department of German Studies