Marda Loop Justice Film Festival 2019

The day began like this…

For several years now, I’ve been attending the Marda Loop Justice Film Festival and previewed films that are very telling about events happening in our world that might inspire deeper thought and potentially, positive action.  At the very least, seeing these films, opens up conversation about the complex issues facing our global neighbours.

At the festival, there is a marketplace of organizations that we can connect with, a choice of a couple of lunch items and a table of books for purchase as well as recommendations that relate to social justice and stewardship in our world.

At the Marketplace booths, I supported the Alberta Wilderness Association and purchased myself a cozy new hoodie.

This year’s films included One Child Nation by award-winning documentarian Nanfu Wang (Hooligan Sparrow, I Am Another You) and Jialing Zhang.  I was left speechless and while viewing, wept in the dark.

Next, Conviction, Written and directed by NANCE ACKERMAN & ARIELLA PAHLKE & TERESA MACINNES.  I enjoyed the format of this one where female inmates carried movie cameras and their bits of film were stitched into the documentary, leaving several very poignant connections to tell the narrative.  While the films address issues that are very challenging and oft-times-sad, I think that it’s important to confront society’s approach to tackling problems.  I’m always impressed that no matter the issue, there is a good heart(s) trying to make a difference.  We must never stop trying.

An exceptional documentary titled, Because We Are Girls by film maker, Baljit Sangra, was next.  This movie was particularly moving to me.  What brave ladies!  I was also so very happy that Baljit, as well as the ladies, were with us for the moderation of the discussion/question period.  I’m not contributing a monologue about any of the topics of this blog post today…just want to document…and I highly recommend that you take any opportunity to view these films.


The final film was set in Burma.  In Myanmar, which consists of 135 ethnic minorities, Rohingya Muslims do not officially exist. Despite historical evidence of their belonging to the Rakhine state, they are denied the rights of citizenship and confined to living in ghettos. Oh my goodness!  I am disappointed in myself for not knowing what has been happening for the people of Burma all of these years.  Such horrors inflicted upon one another!  What is with the heart of humanity that sees only differences…sees only ‘the other’….and believes that power can be used to crush the other?  Another genocide is revealed in Exiled.

I am so grateful to have shared these documentaries with Pat, Janet and Mary.  Pat, thank you for the peanut butter chocolates, that perfect slice of fruit cake between films and that tasty bit of cheese.  I know that after I have sat with the content for some time, I will have a more honest view of these issues when encountering others.

I did not wait for the discussion about the last film, but booted it out in order to enjoy a birthday dinner at Wendy’s.  I thought, as I drove, that I did not want to talk about the films.  I wanted to celebrate Lauraine and have fun with this circle of people who I care about so much.  I think that in life, we have the opportunity to live the present with good intention…to laugh, share conversation and humour, eat good food and relish in the company of our circle.  I am a blessed lady!  Thanks to Dan and Wendy for providing us with the opportunity to love one another!  It all began with a nice glass of wine!

The fish on plank…oh my…it was flavourful!  (good story, going forward!)

The buffet! Happy Birthday,Lauraine!

Cake, made by Dan!  Yummers!  Make a wish, Lauraine!

Hi, Steven and Stephen!  Thank you for the delicious salad!

These, dehydrated tomatoes from backyard summer garden…just so beautiful.

My life is full of blessings.  I am grateful for good health, everything I could dream to enjoy in terms of my basic needs, friendships and acceptance, safety for my family.  I live in peace.  I pray for those who suffer the traumas and labours of a life where there is injustice and brutality, loss…so much loss.  I was born into a country where I am safe.  It is crucial that we focus on our nation…and not on anything that divides us.  The world over should inform who we are.

CBC Calgary Reads Big Book Sale

I’m pretty pumped about finding eleven solid ‘reads’ at the CBC Big Book Sale.  For going on four weeks, I’ve been down for the count with some hack and honk virus and reading is right up my alley right now.  I’ve been avoiding gatherings and sticking to time on my own as much as possible.  There’s nothing wrong with that sometimes.  Anyway, here are my treasures, a mere $4.00 a piece.

First, I picked up the first book of Ken Follett’s Century trilogy.  It’s been a long time since I read Follett, having thoroughly enjoyed his first Trilogy.  I’ve heard good things about this one also, so looking forward to propping this big baby up in bed very soon!



E. Annie Proulx is one of my favourite writers and I spotted one that I haven’t read, That Old Ace in the Hole.  I’d have to agree with this; Prize–winner Proulx imparts this information with such minute accuracy that it’s like seeing a painting up close and magnified, with each tiny brush stroke lovingly emphasized. One grows quite fond of the characters so beset by nature, fate and bizarre accidents, especially old Ace Crouch, a lifelong repairer of windmills, who represents the joke that the title promises.



Complicated, Iris Murdoch became of interest to me when I saw the movie, Iris.  The fact that she suffered Alzheimer’s disease made her story so special.  Words meant everything to Iris, in her life.  Her husband, John Bayley, also a writer, was dedicated to Iris Murdoch in the most amazing way.  When I remember his part in her life, I think of my father.  I found The Green Knight at the Big Book Sale.



I absolutely treasure Timothy Findley’s writing and consider them some of my favourites!  If you haven’t read Findley, please do!  I was happy to find hidden amid all of the more popular things in the ‘General’ section,  a novella, You Went Away.  Excited for this.  Timothy Findley’s female characters are forever-compelling.



I’ve met Karsten on at least two or three occasions and heard him speak twice.  He wrote and filmed Being Caribou, a book and documentary that inspired me and my growth as a human being.  I heard him speak of this Walking the Big Wild, but had never picked it up.  Whoot!  Another great and hidden gem!

Walking the Big Wild is the story of Karsten Heuer’s extraordinary 18-month journey of hiking, sking, and paddling across 2100 miles of mountains, forests, and rivers from Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming to the Canadian Yukon. Accompanied by occasional human companions and a remarkable border collie named Webster, Heuer encountered immense challenges: storms, avalanches, floods, and grizzlies. At the end of the journey, Heuer proved that there is nearly continuous wilderness that can support wildlife along the length of the Rockies-and is salvageable if the right decisions are made now.


I picked this one up out of interest in the topic and the geographies of the north…quite intrigued by this one as its format includes both poetry and prose, a sincere concern for the ice.  Looking forward to reading Enduring Dreams: An Exploration of Arctic Landscape by John Moss.


As I gazed upon the options in the Visual Arts and Photography section, I felt as though I was looking at my own collection at times.  This one, Female Gazes, stood out because it is beautifully illustrated with concise autobiographic material on each of 75 female artists.  Fun!


If you’ve read any Nick Bantock books, you would know that Barbara Hodgson, another Vancouver writer, has a similar approach of writing mythologies along side amazing collage and visual images.  I don’t have this little treasure, and given my travels with daughter Erin, back packing from Palermo, Sicily all the way up to Venice, Italy, this will be a gem!

With its genius for art and culture, there is no country in the world as wonderfully civilized (and civilizing) as Italy. But seething below this surface is a long and shadowy history of corruption, cruelty, and the generally bizarre. For centuries it has been overrun by waves of invaders, all contributing their own questionable bits of culture, and all wantonly adding to the confusion. So, how is a poor visitor supposed to make sense of this anarchic place? Co-creator of the cult favorite Paris Out of Hand, Barbara Hodgson has neatly brushed away the chaos and assembled an eclectic treasury of forgotten and overlooked oddities: long-lost popes, bloodthirsty mercenaries, tempestuous artists, and inexplicable follies. Italy Out of Hand is not a traditional guidebook, with hotel addresses and hours of operation. Rather, it is an idiosyncratic tour of a country that is too overwhelming and extravagant for most of us to comprehend without a little guidance. Illustrated with an equally eclectic selection of photographs, portraits, and art, Italy Out of Hand is the perfect companion for those who like their truths to be stranger than fiction.


If you listen to CBC radio at all, you will be familiar with Thomas King.  I enjoyed several seasons of his Dead Dog Cafe series.  He is a consummate story teller!  I was so happy to find this little treasure.  Tom King has a way of using tongue-in-cheek humour to get to the heart of painful histories.


I’m not familiar with this author, but the topic was of interest to me.  I was thinking of artist, Bev Tosh’s series of War Brides.  An historical fiction, I think this will be appealing to me.


I did really well finding these books at the sale.  I hope my Calgary readers have a chance to get out to make their own selections over this weekend.  Happy reading!

Oranges and Sunshine

The lights are dazzling on the Christmas tree this morning.  I sip hot coffee and sort through papers and bric-a-brac on the kitchen floor.  I don’t recommend painting walls right before the season’s celebrations.  It’s taking me an endless amount of time settling back in.  Everything, I’m certain, will feel fresh once I’m settled again.

Mornings like this, though, hold their beauty.  I like the nesting experience and I like the solitary moments, hanging with the border collie.  I can sing and sometimes dance, at will.

I decided to play a CD that was sent to me by my sister-friend, Linda Barns, over in London.  Some time ago, she attended an exhibition on my behalf, On Their Own: British Child Migrants at the V&A Museum of Childhood in London.

Some time before Christmas, I sat and cried through the movie, Oranges and Sunshine, a film about the migration of thousands of children from Britain to Australia.  Because I come from a family rooted in this same history, but as it is related to Canadian child immigrants, I feel a huge connection to the content of the movie.

The music I’m listening to as I write is titled The Ballads of Child Migration, songs for Britain’s Child Migrants.  They are beautiful songs written in recognition of this history.  Canadian descendants of British Home Children are continuing to look for similar accountability at every level and to see the events recognized in history classes throughout the provinces.

I try, as much as I can, to be positive when I write or engage social media.  We need, however, to be honest about our history, in order to avoid making similar mistakes again.  There are many atrocities performed by human beings upon other human beings.  This is one of those atrocities.  I suggest that my readers inform themselves on the subject, not for the purpose of blame, but for the purpose of recognition and reconciliation.

I think the movie is accurate in its portrayal of the events.

The music  that Linda has sent me is beautiful in a haunting way.  I love you, for this beautiful gift, Linda.

Kath's Canon, December 30, 2015 Linda's Gift 007Kath's Canon, December 30, 2015 Linda's Gift 006Kath's Canon, December 30, 2015 Linda's Gift 005Kath's Canon, December 30, 2015 Linda's Gift 004

Exit Through the Gift Shop

My daughter informed me that the film, Exit Through the Gift Shop was last year’s news and that somewhere along the way ‘I missed the boat’.  I also missed the conversation, apparently, because ‘everyone’ was talking about it.  Following the trailer I include below, you can view the movie in its entirety or you can find it on Netflix (Canada) as well.

This morning, early, my sister-friend, Karen, forwarded me, from A Good Movie to Watch, a listing titled

18 Best Movies On Netflix You Haven’t Yet Seen

18. The Goon (2012)
17. Ne le Dis a (with accent, however you do that) Personne (2006)
16. Frances Ha (2013)
15. Broken (2013)
14 The Ice Strom (1997)
13. I Saw the Devil (2010)
12. Samsara (2012)
11. Mr. Nobody (2009)
10. Boy (2012)
9. Get the Gringo (2012)
8. Submarine (2011)
7. Headhunters (2012)
6. Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)
5. Detachment (2012)
4. The Station Agent (2003)
3. Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About a Father (2008
2. The Hunt (2013)
1. Short Term 12 (2013)

I’ve selected a number of these during my own viewing time and agree with some of the posted comments that generally this is a diverse collection of very intriguing movies.  Of the remainders to this list, I have to tell you that a number of them might be available on the American version of Netflix, but for whatever reason, they are not posted here in Canada.  Given that my prep for today’s colonoscopy (come on!  we can talk about this openly, right?) was cancelled/rescheduled due to the onset of a huge upper respiratory cold/flu, I decided to go in search of a morning movie. (DELIGHTFUL as compared to the alternative)

So…with box of soft tissue on the table next to me, a cup of hot lemon and honey, my fuzzy slippers and a big blanket, I curled up with remote in hand.

Broken, Boy and Ne le Dis a (with accent, however you do that) Personne were unavailable on Canadian Netflix…but, my fourth choice, Exit Through the Gift Shop (2006) was!  Love love loved the introduction to the film by Banksy!  As I settled in, I decided to click PAUSE and get my notebook because I sincerely felt smitten by the content that followed.

I guess that Rylan Broadbent was the first gentleman/artist/arts educator and all round smart man I’d met who taught me anything at all about street art and graffiti.  When I sat on a train from airport to central Paris, I remember leaning my forehead against the train window, in total awe of the images that appeared for miles along the grey cement retaining walls.  Apart from this experience and Rylan, however, I had little world knowledge about the movement of street art happening globally.

This movie was jam packed with information, as well as amazing archives of intimate happenings and interview segments between videographer, Thierry Guetta and some of the artists he had come to know through his own passion for making recordings.

All of the Mr. Brainwash stuff aside, I was intrigued by the fact that Thierry had such a strong compulsion to ‘capture’.  He had no interest in viewing his own recordings although he had carefully labelled and archived boxes and boxes of film.  Instead, he was obsessed for a period of at least ten years, with recording.  He had lost his mother at the age of eleven and had not been told, prior to her death, that she was sick.  From this, he developed a need to record absolutely everything as a response to his thinking…”Anything in my life would be the last time I would see it in this same way. I didn’t know how to stop.”

I have some sympathy for this and find, at times, my fascination with capturing ‘the moment’ in nature, reading, art, music, and my experiences with others, comes from a similar revelation about the temporal aspects of all.  Writing about or photographing a subject somehow causes it to be sustained for a moment in time.  I wonder if that is selfie craze is another manifestation of this practice.  Perhaps some people are insecure with the notion that their bodies are temporal and are evolving from youth to old age…and that photographs ARE the self.  The catch is, photographs are also ephemeral.

This movie got me thinking about a lot of things.  When Thierry Guetta takes on the mantle of Mr. Brainwash and successfully earns over a million dollars on his first exhibition, the viewer is left pondering the authentic aspects of art and confronts the forever-question again, “What is art?”  Mr. Brainwash has named himself well.  Even at the conclusion, other long time street artists are at a loss for words and Banksy promises to never be filmed again.

Street Artists mentioned in the film include,

Space Invader
Shepard Fairey
Sweet Toof and Cyclops
Ron English
Dot Masters
Buff Monster and
Mr. Brainwash

I hope to grab some permissions from photographers so that I can post some photos here soon.  For now, looking for some shots that I took of street art pieces I found in Hamilton, Ontario two summers ago.



Mr. Patterns, Featured Documentary at the Esker Foundation

Last night I had opportunity to view the beautiful documentary, Mr. Patterns, at the Esker Foundation.  I was so happy to meet up with Wendy Lees of Love Art in Calgary and to sit back in such a perfect space, nibbling on popcorn and sipping lime bubbly.  If you have not yet visited the exhibit Fiction/Non-Fiction, please do.

The thirteen artists in Fiction/Non-fiction challenge mainstream cultural and political narratives by offering transcultural critique through works that propose counterpoints, rhetorical questions, and revisionist statements (often as increasingly abstract forms of representation) to official historical records or archives.

Sometimes people appreciate my book suggestions.  As related to the topic of the documentary, I recommend two books.  A 1986 book, Songlines, written by Bruce Chatwin is directly related to the Dreamtime of the Papunya Tula artists.  I had tears in the dark when I saw in the documentary, the artists singing the Honey Ants…a powerful piece of iconography, strong symbols, on the side of a building.

Papunya Tula Honey Ants

Papunya Tula Honey Ants

I also recommend, especially for my women-readers, Marlo Morgan’s Mutant Message Down Under.  These two books will introduce the reader to a context as it relates to the status of the indigenous peoples of Australia.  The documentary presented parallels to the stories of indigenous peoples the world over.  A must-see.

The Papunya Tula art movement says so much about the human spirit and Geoffrey Bardon is to be commended for his vision and his promotion of the artists throughout that period of history.  The documentary was laced together with 16 mm. footage.  I enjoyed that sensibility as it contributed to themes of memory.

Charlie Tararu Tjungurrayi

Charlie Tararu Tjungurrayi


My son and I dawned our 3D glasses and watched this flick together.  Of course, above all, the special effects were ‘out of this world’.  I found myself gripping my arm rests for the majority of the movie.  While there were so many moments where the mind wanted to go to that place, “Yeah, right….”, the movie demanded a certain belief from the audience.  Outer Space…a world of experience that is out of reach for the ordinary person.  This movie was inclusive and gave us some sort of insight into this dark and magical world.

As a result, I dug through some of my old newspaper journals and found, from the North Bay Nugget…1969 and ’70…a small collection of things I had clipped out of the newspaper while I was a little girl.  How courageous of these daring astronauts…to let go and travel into space!

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Four Years After 9/11

In 2005, I began writing this blog.  It had something to do with the privacy or public notion of words.  I was thinking that morning about the impermanence of life…of all of the floating papers of our lives…of art.   And so this blog was born at the remembrance of those papers fluttering to the ground, from those broken buildings and from all that is ephemeral, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

It is an interesting thing to go back to September 2005 and consider the words that I chose to write down…a blog was born out of those words.




Posted on September 11, 2005


I was spinning my wheels that morning.  There were things to get done as always and so I busied myself with those rituals when one of the children called upstairs to me, “Mom, what is the World Trade Center?”



As I remember it, I stepped out from the bathroom, into the hall where I could see the television clearly.  A voice said, “A plane just flew into the World Trade Center.”



As I set myself down on the couch, a plane hit the second tower.  Smoke and flame billowed heavenward… it was truly something that seemed unbelievable.  It remains so.



It is very early in the morning.  I’ve just come in from the studio…it is only right that I should remember in the silence of this first bit of morning the many who lost their lives and the families they left behind, shattered and rebuilding to this day.


e. e. cummings

here’s to opening and upward,

to leaf and to sap and to your

(in my arms flowering so new)

self whose eyes smell

of the sound of rain and

here’s to silent certainly mountains;

and to a disappearing poet

of always, snow and to morning;

and to morning’s beautiful friend twilight

(and a first dream called ocean)

and let must or if be damned

with whomever’s afraid

down with ought with because

with every brain which thinks

it thinks, nor dares to feel

(but up with joy; and up

with laughing and drunkenness)

here’s to one undiscoverable

guess of whose mad skill each

world of blood is made

(whose fatal songs are moving in the moon)

I have enjoyed a beautiful half moon tonight….walking from the studio to the house!  Good night, dear world!  Be kind to those who are lonely or hopeless tonight.

In the Classroom

Posted on September 12, 2005


I played two songs for my students this morning.  One was Deja Vu written by John Fogerty and the other was Wake me up When September Ends by Green Day.  I thought there were common themes in these two pieces of writing and that the melodies were rich, emoting ‘stuff’ that the students could think about, given the circumstances in Iraq.


Just recently they have been considering Ray Bradbury’s short story, All Summer in a Day…and there are also some parallels there; with the seven years of rain….and issues of isolation, sadness and abandonment.  The image of the sun gives us some insight about  hope and its potential in very dark moments.


After listening, I distributed both sets of lyrics and led  some rich discussion about ‘seeing the writing on the wall’. I felt pleased that the people sitting in front of me were going to take some learning with them.


As a follow-up, they will first write a comparison of the two songs and their themes and then go on to discuss which song they prefer and why it is preferred.


Finally, they will find a pathway into the lyrics and write their own narrative based on thoughts that surface as a result of considering the writing of these two powerful songs.  I was excited when one of the boys came to ask me if he could write from a voice in the song Vietnam by Creedance Clearwater Revival.  Good!  I told him that I was especially pleased that he had extended the suggested activity as it will mean more to him this way.


It was a very rewarding day in the classroom.


This writing has provided me a brief shift in posture and in focus.  Now I must return to the studio where work is really pushing forward.  I hope that the energy can be sustained.


Gorilla House Artist: Enriquito

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Known to us as Enriquito, the Gorilla House has been enjoying an exhibit of works by artist Jorge Enrique Gonzalez Hernandez!  If you haven’t seen this huge collection, add this to your list of things to do in Calgary.  Enriquito is such a positive person.  He is a joy to know.  It may be obvious through the capture of these few images just how energetic he is as an artist.  The show is exquisite.  For the next year, Enriquito is going to work exclusively in black and white, a bit of a departure.

EnriquitoIn his own words…

Jorge Enrique González Hernández

Born in Havana, Cuba on February 20, 1978. As a teenager, studying accounting and finance, Hernandez found his passion for painting. He had always liked art and its influences, but it was not until he moved to Spain in 2009, where his artistic niche began to develop. With little technical education, Hernandez has spent the last three years showing his art over many places around the world, including Vancouver, Canada, Bangkok, Thailand, and many parts of Spain. For Hernandez, his whimsical and aestheticly nice combination of colors and abstract shapes are the result of free and autonomous feelings subconscious. As his love for art grows, Hernandez hopes to continue his artistic activities in Canada, and one day obtain the means to carry more powerful inspiration, his son, to live with him in Canada.

Surviving Progress

If you haven’t attended the Marda Loop Justice Film Festival, this is something you may really find inspiring and give you the impetus to make affirmative action in a whole number of ways.  Each film is followed by a conversation between audience members and conversation leaders, typically experts in an area related to the film.  Last night’s film was Surviving Progress.  Potent and relevant, I left feeling a need to set more limits to my consumption and to try to influence the same in others.

Blogging actually provides a way to communicate this particular desire to a global audience.  It is the responsibility of each individual to become educated, informed and aware…it is for the collective to stand up against a politic that is solely economically motivated.  Please visit this site…and if at all possible, view the film…and after that, set limits.

The following summary from Marda Loop Justice Film Festival.

Director: Mathieu Roy, Harold Crooks

“Every time history repeats itself the price goes up.”

Surviving Progress brings us thinkers such as Stephen Hawking, Jane Goodall, David Suzuki, Margaret Atwood, Jim Thomas and many more who provide warnings, suggest solutions, and offer hope as to how the dangerous path we the world is on can move towards a more sustainable future.

Inspired by Ronald Wright’s bestseller, A Short History of Progress, SURVIVING PROGRESS, exposes the grave risks we pose to our own survival in the name of progress. The film shows how civilizations are repeatedly seduced and destroyed by “progress traps” – alluring belief systems around human advancement (technology, economics, consumption, and environment) that serve immediate needs, but ransom the future with long term consequences. While there is an extraordinary range of goods and services available on the world market, there is also increased pressure on a dwindling supply of non-renewable natural resources, a damaged environment, a faltering global economy, and large parts of the world are demanding higher standards of living in the face of bankrupt nations. Has the world become a victim of its own desire for progress?

86 min.

Introduced during the session, were a whole list of book titles…I will definitely be perusing these.

Photo Credit: Here

Photo Credit: Here

And ripped off from SURVIVING PROGRESS, THIS!!  These were such powerful icons to speak to the state of our planet…such a variety…so articulate and so knowledgeable.  I was particularly challenged and excited by the words of Michael Hudson, economic historian and global energy expert, Vaclav Smil.

Who’s Who

Margaret AtwoodMargaret Atwood author
“Instead of thinking that nature is this huge bank that we can just, this endless credit card that we can just keep drawing on, we have to think about the finite nature of that planet and how to keep it alive so that we too may remain alive. Unless we conserve the planet, there isn’t going to be any “the economy”.”

Enio BeataEnio Beata sawmill owner
“The people responsible for destroying the Amazon are the big farmers, the international corporations. The biggest farmers are senators, deputies, colonels. They’re the ones destroying the Amazon forest. Them. Not us.”

Colin BeavanColin Beavan writer / engineer / director – No Impact Project
“… before I go around trying to change other people, mabye I should look at myself and change myself and keep my side of the street clean.”

Chen ChangnianChen Changnian professor / Cheng Ming’s father
“Of course there have been some problems as well, for example, the environment.”

Chen MingChen Ming self-driving tour guide
“I’m like the monk, the master, I’m leading the members to the West, to find out the real meaning of life, to reach true enlightenment.”

Victor Zhikai GaoVictor Zhikai Gao director, China Association of International Studies
“We need to go onto a path of growth and China needs to modernize and industrialize…”

Jane GoodallJane Goodall primatologist
“Arguably, we are the most intellectual creature that’s ever walked on planet Earth. So how come, then, that this so intellectual being is destroying its only home ?”

Stephen HawkingStephen Hawking theoretical physicist
“We are entering an increasingly dangerous period of our history. But I’m an optimist.”

Michael Hudson economic historian / former Wall Street economist
“Progress has meant: ”You will never get back what we take from you”. That’s what brought on the Dark Ages and that’s what’s threateting to bring in the Dark Ages again.”

Simon JohnsonSimon Johnson former chief economist International Monetary Fund
“The bankers can’t stop themselves. It’s in their DNA, in the DNA of their organizations, to take massive risks, to pay themselves ridiculous salaries and to collapse…”

Mark LevineMark Levine group leader – China Energy Group
“What is progress ? I think… that’s too hard a question.

Gary MarcusGary Marcus cognitive psychologist
“One thing to remember of course about the human mind, is that it’s not that fundamentally different from say, the brain of a chimpanzee.”

Kambale MusavuliKambale Musavuli Friends of the Congo
“What is interesting is all the money plundered from all the international debts is found in Western banks.”

Daniel PovinelliDaniel Povinelli behavioural scientist
“If humans go extinct on this planet, I think what’s going to be our epitaph on our gravestone is “why” ?.”

Marina SilvaMarina Silva senator & former Minister of the Environment, Brazil
“It is impossible to defend models that cannot be universally applied because we would have to start from a premise that some people have rights and some don’t. Thus there is no technological problem, but an ethical one.”

Vaclav SmilVaclav Smil global energy expert
“We have to use less.”

David SuzukiDavid Suzuki geneticist / activist
“Money doesn’t stand for anything and money now grows faster than the real world. Conventional economics is a form of brain damage.”

Raquel Taitson-QueirozRaquel Taitson-Queiroz environmental police officer, IBAMA
“… I thought that I could defend my ideas, my ideals, if I was an inspector. What I can do is so small compared to what is going on right now.”

The students of Jeanne Silva Martin’s class, Escola Fabiano LosvanoThe students of Jeanne Silva Martin’s class, Escola Fabiano Losvano, Sao Paulo, Brazil
“BOY: When I watch the news on TV, I see that they are deforesting the Amazon and I don’t understand why…
TEACHER: What are the interests behind it?
BOY: Economics.”

The townspeople of Colniza The townspeople of Colniza, Mato Grosso State, Brazil
“This is our life! The forest is like a mother giving milk to her child. Do you have an Amazon forest in your country ?”

Jim ThomasJim Thomas activist / ETC GROUP
“… the engineers can try to treat life as though it was some sort of computer or engineering substrate, but ultimately the microbes are gonna end up laughing at them, that life doesn’t work like that.”

J. Craig VenterJ. Craig Venter biologist / CEO Synthetic Genomics
“By changing and taking over evolution, changing the time course of evolution, and going into deliberate design of species for our own survival at least gives us some points of optimism that we have a chance to control our destiny.”

Robert WrightRobert Wright author / journalist
“… half of being God has just been handed to us and then the question is whether we’ll master the other half of being God, the moral half.”

Ronald WrightRonald Wright author
“… we are running 21st century software, our knowledge, on hardware that hasn’t been upgraded for 50,000 years, and this lies at the core of many of our problems.”