树木和人 / Trees and People, 2017
Antje Majewski’s film 树木和人 / Bäume und Menschen / Trees and People was filmed in the Guangdong region in China, and tells the story of complex relationships between people and trees. Old and very large trees such as the Ficus microcarpa are considered being connected to a god. It collects stories of spiritual attachments, of “contracts” with the tree, which serves as a “foster parent.” At the same time, the villagers’ main source of income comes from working with wood in a strictly utilitarian sense. Since the area around Yang Wu Sha has been turned into a nature reserve, wood is now imported from all over the globe to be turned into door knobs, mobile phone stands or toys—only to be exported back into the world. Acknowledgment of a tree as another living being with a spirit is replaced by an estranged capitalist relationship to wood as a mere material.