A film by Oliver Ressler
37 min., 4K, AT 2021
This film originated in a four-hour assembly in Madrid in October 2019, where delegates from various environmental groups gathered to prepare an act of civil disobedience. The groups – Ecologistas en Acción, Alternativa Antimilitarista MOC, Legal Sol, Extinction Rebellion, Climacció, Fridays for Future and Greenpeace – are part of the platform By 2020 We Rise up, which is active throughout Europe and seeks to foster climate rebellion.
Through the assembly discussion we learn how the network is structured around multiple commissions (working groups), each of which takes on a particular responsibility: communication, training, food, logistics, design of the action, strategy, legal support, interaction with police, demands, care and finance.
Because the state could consider assembly participants to be organizers of an unlawful or unapproved demonstration, the faces of all people present are pixelated to conceal their identity. Their anonymity is preserved as a precaution against repression. The use of pixelation gives the film its unique visual appearance.
“Not Sinking, Swarming”includes footage from the civil disobedience of October 7, 2019, the most significant action planned at the assembly. Hundreds of activists used a boat to block a busy highway overpass near the Madrid Nuevos Ministerios, in an occupation constituting one part of an international week of rebellion for climate justice.
This film is one of a very small number of existing documents that offer a real insight into the processes of climate movements’ self-organization.
Director and producer: Oliver Ressler
Cinematography: Daniel Gómez, Jose S. Gutiérrez, Oliver Ressler
Location sound: Pablo Estrella
Editing: Lisbeth Kovačič, Oliver Ressler
Sound editing, color correction: Rudolf Gottsberger
Sound design and music: Vinzenz Schwab
Visual effects: Lisbeth Kovačič
Title design: Nils Olger
Text: Oliver Ressler, Matthew Hyland
Translation: Silvia Martínez Rocher
Copy editing: Joe Keady
Special thanks to all members of the assembly and Emilio Alvarez, Miguel Amado, Brandon Bauer, Reinhard Braun, Pablo Chamorro Ortiz, Luisa Espino, Roberto Farneti, Matthew Hyland, Lisbeth Kovačič, Silvia Martínez Rocher, Massimiliano Mollona,Amila Puzić, Gerald Raunig, Mike Watson.
This film was produced in the framework of “Barricading the Ice Sheets”, funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF: AR 526).