Earthbound — In Dialogue with Nature

melanie bonajo

«Progress vs Sunsets – Re-formulating the Nature Documentary», 2017

The video Progress vs Sunsets – Re-formulating the Nature Documentary investigates how documentary movies and digital photography inform the perceptions of nature. Melanie Bonajo has been meticulously collecting images, photos, and animations of nature and animals online. Using that material as a source, she developed questions addressed to children whose honest and poignant responses agree that both animals and humans have equal rights. The work is made up of sequences showing children in combination with animations and amateur videos. In the interviews, children ask questions concerning the rights of and laws for humans and nature. They show a respectful attitude to each other, as well as the impact of surveillance technology and the exploitation of nature. Through these interviews, Bonajo questions how we could experience the world of nature as children do, with curiosity and respect.

melanie bonajo (NL) is a queer, non-binary, artist, filmmaker, feminist, sexological bodyworker, somatic sex coach and educator, cuddle workshop facilitator and animal rights activist. Through their videos, performances, photographs and installations, Mel examines current conundrums of co-existence in a crippling capitalistic systems, and address themes of eroding intimacy and isolation in an increasingly sterile, technological world. Their experimental documentaries often explore communities living or working on the margins of society, either through illegal means or cultural exclusion, and the paradoxes inherent to ideas of comfort with a strong sense for community, equality, and body-politics. bonajo lives and works in Amsterdam and New York.