Climatic upheaval is biological upheaval, low-noise but massive and rapid, as evidenced by the latest IPCC report. We are making a sensational entry into the era of the “Anthropocene”, as the Nobel Prize in chemistry and meteorologist Paul Crutzen suggested in the early 2000s. A new geological epoch where humans are the main force for change on our planet, overcoming geophysical forces.
“If the Earth’s history were concentrated in twenty-four hours, the Anthropocene would have begun in the very last thousandths of a second.exposes the documentary filmmaker Tao Favre. This shows the complexity of our planet, with which we have collided. » His podcast makes this collapse audible, in a rich documentary series in four episodes, and leads a fascinating reflection on the meaning of human adventure, in a topical critique of the idea of infinite progress and the deadly homogenization of living things.
To welcome us, the first episode (“Where the living collapses”) sets the scene for springtime without birdsong. With several ecologists, Tao Favre draws up the balance sheet and the chain consequences of the collapse of biodiversity in the countryside. Above all, as an important preliminary to action and political choices, it questions the overhanging relationship that the industrialized spheres of the world have woven with nature since its perfection in the 18th century.e century, of the steam engine, as if we ourselves were no longer a structuring part of ecosystems.
Then the documentary deepens, with the help of the history of scientific ecology, the tremendous potential that resides in the idea and the gesture of weaving another link with nature, which would be made of knowledge and inspirations, to imagine systems that are resilient because they are symbiotic (episode 2, “Ecology or death”).
Produced before the outbreak of Covid-19, the documentary series has not aged a bit, on the contrary. Eco-neighborhoods, urban gardens, green roofs: the third episode (“The possibility of a green city”) questions the paradoxes of urban developments which, while artificializing ever more soil, also seek to give back space to living things so that the city remains… livable.
In the fourth and last episode (“Des mondes à compose”), through multiple experiences, at school or in a deferred development zone, the power of diversity and networks is celebrated with an opening towards other stories.
To make his documentary, Tao Favre met ecologists and philosophers, whose words are crystal clear, but also committed citizens. He surveyed the land and, thanks to an off-centre approach and traveling on several scales, draws out and reaffirms knowledge likely to restore a political “agency” (capacity to act), contrary to the mirror of larks held up by techno-solutionism.
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The documentary gets out of the impasse of the nature-culture relationship to think about other relationships with energy, agriculture and our habitats. A regenerating reflection, like an energetic echo of the work of the philosopher and anthropologist Bruno Latour, on the place of humans in their ecosystem: head on shoulders because feet on the ground.
Welcome to the Anthropocene, documentary series by Tao Favre (Fr., 2019, 4 × 55 min). Available on Franceculture.fr and the Radio France app.