In the first episode of World Service, our new series of creative films responding to pressing global issues— journalist cum fine art filmmaker Frederick Paxton travels to the Arctic Circle to visualize the dysfunctional relationship between humans and the ocean. Paxton’s Martin Parr-esque observations of oblivious passengers on board a tourist cruise in Greenland are contrasted with the stunning but melting ice floes and polluted ocean all around them. The film features clips of audio from a 1962 speech by then American president John F Kennedy, ruminating on the deep connection we have with the sea— creating a poignant moment, considering how dire the environmental issue is still over 50 years later.
Says Paxton: “I imagined the type of dysfunctional personal relationship many of us have been in, where there is a very deep connection but the relationship is inherently destructive.
“We wanted to create a contrast between the human and natural elements, that allows the audience to contemplate this dysfunctional relationship. Filming in an area of Greenland where climate change is so apparent and well documented really added to the sense of urgency in trying to combat this issue in particular.
“I think most people are unconscious to a lot of their behaviour on a daily basis. I hope the film creates space for us to reflect on the way we interact with the world and the effect that has on the ocean.”