The open-talk hosted by Romklass researchers in Latin American Cultural Studies, Azucena Castro and Gianfranco Selgas, focused on global toxic waste, slow violence, and the contamination of the environment in the recently released documentary “Arica”, by Swedish filmmakers William Johansson Kalé and Lars Edman.

In the mid-1980s, the Swedish mining company Boliden shipped a toxic cargo containing hazardous waste material such as arsenic and lead produced in Sweden to be dumped in Arica, Chile, a place located between the Atacama Desert and the Pacific Ocean. While the toxic waste was supposed to be received and treated by the Chilean company Plomel, “Arica” uncovers how the toxic waste laid in hays open on the ground where children from precarious near-by housing played, where the wind carried out particles of the toxic waste and where the rain slowly led arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury closer to the ground water and the living depending on it.

Organized within the on-going “Ciclos de cine Latinoamericano” in NILAS, the open-talk took Johansson Kalé and Edman’s film as a point of departure to discuss the intersection between Latin America’s zones of sacrifice, slow violence and toxicity associated to extractivism, environmental justice and environmental law, as well as the aesthetic and political force embedded in environmental film-making.