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08 APRIL 2012

Big Question: Feast or Famine?

"The world population is growing by 75 million people each year. That's almost the size of Germany. Today, we're nearing 7 billion people. At this rate, we'll reach 9 billion people by 2040. And we all need to eat. But how? That's a critical issue the IonE tackles in our first Big Question video.

At the same time, agriculture is a major contributor to climate change and will suffer as an industry from the consequences."

(Institute on the Environment, 2009, University of Minnesota)

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TAGS

2009 • 2040 • agricultureanimated presentation • Aral Sea • call to actioncarbon dioxide • cereal crops • climate change • computer models • consequencesconsumption • consumption trends • cows • critical issue • current technologies • desertecology • ecosystems • famine • fertilizer • food • global environmental systems • global populationglobal water crisisgrain production • green revolution • greenhouse gases • greening the desert • H2O • human activitieshuman civilization • human-caused emissions • Institute on the Environment • Jonathan Foley • land use • late 20th century • livestock • meatmethane • nitrous oxide • over-fertilized fields • populationpopulation growthrainforestresource managementrice • Robert Zeigler • ruminant animals • Stanley Wood • sustainability • The Inconvenient Truth • The Other Inconvenient Truth • University of Minnesota • University of Wisconsin • waterworld population

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
05 OCTOBER 2005

Land is ultimately the only thing that exists

"Mary Graham has declared that one of the most taken–for–granted assumptions of Aboriginal thought is that spirit is real; another is that land is all there is (Graham 1992). That is to say, spirit has a status, in Aboriginal thought, as incontestable as that of energy and matter; and, since there is no heaven and hell, and since theories and ideas, however dazzling, are not real, land is ultimately the only thing that exists. If 'land' is expanded to encompass the concrete given – all that is actual in a physical sense – then I think that the attitude of letting be follows from these twin premises: spirit animates the given rather than existing in the realm of the abstract, so we connect with spirit by engaging – and not unnecessarily interfering – with the given. By embracing the given even in its most adulterated forms, we reinhabit our own contemporary, mundane reality in the same kind of profound way that traditional Aboriginal peoples inhabited their reality, the still edenic land. Graham, Mary 1992, interviewed on Aboriginal Perspectives, Caroline Jones and Stephen Godley, ABC Religious Program"
(Freya Mathews, Australian Humanities Review)

Mathews, F. (2004). "Letting the World Do the Doing." Australian Humanities Review August – October 2004(33).

[Issues surrounding land and its relationship to spirituality are central to an indigenous Australian world view. The belief that land is something that can’t be contained or controlled stands in stark contrast to the Western belief that sees land as a commodity that can be owned by individuals and sold for personal gain.]

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15 APRIL 2005

The Gleaners and I: making art from rubbish

"'The Gleaners and I' is a decidedly personal video documentary by Varda, a film ostensibly preoccupied with 'rubbish'. Varda takes us on a journey where we encounter those who live from other peoples' – from people who eat out of dumpsters and 'glean' provincial fields after harvest, to those who make art from tossed away furniture and beyond. It's a brilliant and playful film and one which Julie Rigg decared she was 'in love with' when she interviewed Agnes Varda.

JULIE RIGG: Agnes Varda, I'm curious about this film. Did it begin as a film about yourself or a film about gleaners?

AGNES VARDA: It's clearly about gleaners, it's clearly not only the intention because who cares about an intention, what is important is the film you see. And not only that, it's a very important subject, a social issue, which is, 'who are those people who eat the leftovers, the leftovers of others?' Who is eating my leftovers, you know? And that was really concerning me, like it does to other people, and I thought instead of having a subject, a subject line and say could we find people to illustrate it? I totally had another attitude and thought how can I meet people who are the subject? So I don't have to explain and make any narration about that, find the right people who will be able to show themselves by their life. [With this film] I was saying 'why will those people live and eat what we throw away, and can I meet them, can I speak to them?' And they are able to say when and what and how."
(Julie Rigg, ABC Australia)

Fig.1 Agnès Varda, 2000. Les Glaneurs et La Glaneuse
Fig.2 Jean François Millet, 1857. Musée d'Orsay

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TAGS

18572000 • Agnes Varda • agricultural producebio-ethicscollectionconsumptioncultural constructiondocumentary filmfilmfoodfoundfound objectFrenchgleanergleaninggrain production • Jean Francois Millet • land usepeasantpersonal filmrubbishsustainabilitytraditionvegetableswastewomen in film
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