Part of Living Roots

The Forest Underneath

Paolo Patelli

Italy – 2020
Video – duration 10 min

The Forest Underneath takes us to the contended area in and around the Hambach forest, the last remnant of an ecosystem that once occupied the entire Rhine valley. The forest, of which only 10% remains, borders the largest open-pit coal mine in Europe. This is a place where corporate exploitation, environmental activism, and environmental degradation coexist. When energy company RWE announced its plans to clear the forest, environmentalists came into action. A diverse group of activists took permanent residence within the forest, in self-built ‘barrios’ and treehouses, behind barricades, to protect it from planned destruction. In this video, Paolo Patelli shows us what it means to live in these areas.


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