Media mapping and oil extraction: A Louisiana story
Author(s): Walker, Janet
Written from the perspective of spatial media and ecomedia studies and influenced by human geography, critical cartography, and critical environmental justice, this article nominates the situated film as such, identifies its kinship with other geolocational media (from historical maps to aerial scans), and demonstrates how these media together co-constitute the environments they may seem only to sense, scan, photograph, map, mark, snake through, or hover over. Taking mapping as generative, the article experiments with fieldwork practice and a cartographic analytic to deepen our understanding of the ‘production of space’ as social, positional, material, and mediated. Objects of analysis include: written and photographic evidence of the production locations of LOUISIANA STORY (Robert Flaherty, 1948) and BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD (Benh Zeitlin, 2012), historical maps for oil and gas prospecting in the same area, and satellite and kite and balloon mapping in the aftermath of the BP oil spill of 2010. Benefiting from the knowledge of local interlocutors, the article particularises the entanglement of film and media with oil infrastructures on the Louisiana Gulf Coast of the United States, the mutuality of their ardent forces, the losses these formations have induced, and the need for treading lightly in this exquisite landscape.
Walker, Janet: Media mapping and oil extraction: A Louisiana story. In: NECSUS. European Journal of Media Studies, Jg. 7 (2018), Nr. 2, S. 229–251. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25969/mediarep/3448.
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