• December 10 at 1.30 pm – 4.30 pm in Bio Mauritz

  • December 11 at 10 am-1 pm in Seminar room 1 and 2


Beyond their unique topographies, mountains offer distinct spaces where ecological processes, human activities and cultural knowledge entangle. Recognizing this year’s International Mountain Day focusing on threats facing mountain biodiversity, this workshop focuses on diversity of perspectives of mountain spaces through cinema. Studying cinematic perspectives may bring a deeper understanding of traditions of representations of mountain spaces from exotification to domestication and exploitation, but are also sources for new approaches in how we may engage with nature landforms. The four presentations of the workshop discuss these issues in films of various genres, cultural contexts and historical periods, from industrial mining film and classical nature documentaries to contemporary art film.


Mapping Zhao Liang’s Behemoth (2015): Humanism in the Age of Digital Global Art Cinema

Christian Quendler (University of Innsbruck, Austria)

Zhao Liang’s artistic documentary on mining in Inner Mongolia creates a cinematic experience of places that we normally only access through statistical data of remote-sensing technologies and journalistic interviews. In a sense, Behemoth can be seen as cinematic countermapping and guerrilla filmmaking. In another sense, it is itself the product of a globalized cinematic vision that allows us to trace new figurations of transnational cinema. This paper explores these two sides of Behemoth by situating the aesthetics and ethics of the film in relation to two humanistic traditions: cinematic and geographic humanism.

Cinematic Cultures of Descent: The Other Side of the Mountaineering Story

Eva-Maria Müller (University of Innsbruck, Austria)

By approaching mountains through cultures of descent rather than ascent, this paper provides three major insights: It offers a long overdue corrective to orthodox approaches in mountain studies that tend to focus on summits as sites of heroism and control, highlights the special role of film in facilitating a change of perspective, and additionally allows us to better understand the socio-ecological concerns that come to the fore via mediations of descent.

Domesticating Wilderness: The Mountain Environment in Swedish Classical Cinema

Anna Sofia Rossholm (Stockholm University)

With the separation of nature and mankind in modern culture as point of departure, this study outlines how exotification and domestication negotiate the nature-culture divide. Through an analysis of classical Swedish films of different genres set in the Scandinavian Mountains, the analysis reflects on the process from exotification to domestication of the wild. Domestication in the selected films can be seen in imaginaries of the mountain as home, the presence of children in the films, and the motif of caretaking of wild animals.

Steel and Workplaces as Final Mountain Forms: Countering Dark Ecologies of the Subterranean in Corporate Scandinavian Mining Films

Ole Johnny Fossås (Stockholm University)

Through serial analysis of films sponsored by the Scandinavian mining industry between 1945-1975, this paper suggests that their portrayal of subterranean mountains counter ‘dark ecologies’ in popular culture that allow for perspectives of coexistence. Presenting the underground as neither particularly intimidating nor as spaces of intimacy, the films instead interconnect mountain spaces as a subset to a welfare economy driven by extraction. Here, the underground attains new rationalized forms, pursuing ‘industrial gnosis’.

More information

Contact: anna-sofia.rossholm@ims.su.se
Free admission (ingen avgift).
No pre-registration necessary (ingen föranmälan krävs).