Kornspeicher and Inspektorhaus
at Novalis-Museum Wiederstedt

Film programme Film room

Sa, 3.6. 11:00 Su, 18.6.23 0:00
Schäfergasse 8 Inspektorhaus 06456 Arnstein, OT Wiederstedt

The settlement of Potosí was founded in 1545 at the foot of the Cerro Rico, a pointedly towering mountain in the Bolivian highlands. Here, where the Incas had already extracted silver, a profitable mining industry developed in the years that followed, providing the Spanish royal family with desperately needed foreign currency. The world’s first mining academy was founded here; with a population of 150,000, Potosí was one of the largest cities of the 17th century. Attached to this story of immeasurable wealth is an even more immeasurable story of sweat, blood, and death: the mita, a system of tribute payment through labor, forced the indigenous population into the mines by the thousands. Potosí became the universal symbol of an inhumane and environmentally destructive colonialism, but the story goes on: Under the hardest working conditions, the last remains of precious metals are still being scraped out of the perforated mountain today. 

The film room of My Precious in the Inspektorhaus presents four artistic-documentary short films by Mareike Bernien & Alex Gerbaulet, Andreas Bunte, Ilaria Di Carlo, and Armin Thalhammer, which fan out the social, technical, and ecological contexts of extractive economic activity: from Potosí to the radiant legacy of uranium mining in the Ore Mountains and the artificial production of diamonds near Potsdam as a way out of geopolitical dependencies, to the bizarre open-pit mining and power plant landscapes of the East and West German coal industry.