Director Slawomir Milewski has made some interesting films…and has some interesting views!
By Chere Di Boscio
Slawomir J Milewski is a London based Polish artist and filmmaker, born in 1979. He completed his Master degree at University of Fine Arts in Poznan, Poland. He was later awarded a scholarship by Universite Rennes 2 in Rennes, France. His films have been presented and awarded at numerous festivals and exhibitions in North and South America, Europe and Australia.
Here he tells Eluxe about his ‘green life’ – or his vie en vert. Specifically, the importance of water, corporate farming, and why he always ends up buying underwear.
Our Interview With Film Director Slawomir Milewski
What do you think is the biggest form of greenwashing today?
Slawomir Milewski: If I could answer it using just one word it would be: Davos
Your films are very open to interpretation. But would you say there’s any one underlying theme?
Slawomir Milewski: First of all I mostly don’t plan what I would ‘talk’ about in the film. It appears within the process of making the picture. In my earlier films I was heavily interested about the concept of transgression. Also I used to like imitating or faking my moving pictures to be personal. I was interested about achieving this kind of visual meaning where any verbal explanation is inadequate and just flattens the message or the lack of it (as the lack of the message might be the message itself).
After that, I started to shift towards societal themes. But within the recent situation on the world, seeing how easily is to manipulate people, I lost faith in humanity and society.
And in my recent film work ‘Raspberry Man’ I came back to absurd and nonsense which I love, where the nonsense is not in the opposition to sense, is not the lack of sense, but rather ‘the summit of all senses’. It is something more (eg you can see how all great narrations ended. And how current narrations just simulate older narrations).
Can art help save the world?
Slawomir Milewski: No, art cannot help to save the world. It is not the role of art. The role of art is to be useless. Any attempt of art of being helpful will have the face of socrealism, hyper realistic special block buster effect stuff. Or in the best way: a decoration at the corpo building hall.
Today, I think the powers that be want to dehumanise us, kill the instinct of being individual and erase the need of critical thinking. I don’t want that art would help to this kind of world. Instead, it should help us not to end up in mental servitude. But I’m not sure it can.
What are your earliest memories of being in nature?
Slawomir Milewski: I come from Warmia, in the north-eastern part of Poland, so my earliest memories are from there. I mainly remember water: I am a ‘water’ person. I love it and every time I am traveling and I am close to any sea, river or lake I have to see it and feel it; then I can truly find balance and harmony. ‘Life’ comes from water.
Which natural features of your hometown do you most miss?
Slawomir Milewski: It’s difficult for me to articulate which natural features I am missing. I think I am able to adapt very quickly to new circumstances and I can enjoy the natural features of any new place in which I can find myself.
What’s your favourite animal and why?
Slawomir Milewski: Which is my favourite animal? Humans, of course! Why? Because mankind separated itself from animals wanting to erase the fact that humans are still animals. But we are just one kind of animal which contradicts our own nature. It fascinates me–you can find this in the history of our civilisation, law, philosophy and religion. This separation from our natural world is also the reason we seem to be destroying it.
What’s the most positive thing you do for the environment in your daily life?
Slawomir Milewski: I do think I am ‘green’ person. I am focused on that. For me, taking care of the environment is on par with personal grooming–it’s just something you have to be aware of every day.
Which eco-friendly destinations would you most like to visit?
Slawomir Milewski: I’m not sure if travelling can actually be ‘eco friendly. However I love places where people are not under so much pressure. It seems to me these people live closer to the environment and they are ‘greener’. It is of course quite relative, but in London where I live people are so stressed… and produce tons of waste.
What are your favourite ‘green’ fashion brands?
Slawomir Milewski: Generally, I haven’t got a lot of clothes. Firstly, I limit my possessions to a relative minimum. Secondly, even if I wanted to do some serious shopping, I can never can find things which I really like, so I end up buying socks or underwear! (laughs). But, yes, I do prefer to buy eco-friendly clothes when I can.
Which celeb spokesperson for the environment do you most admire, and why?
Slawomir Milewski: I don’t follow these types of ‘events’. I even don’t watch TV and I do not have a lot of time to read any magazines. I know what I myself am doing for the environment. But I do believe it is important to talk about it. It’s a matter of establishing common consciousness about it.
Which eco issues are most important to you?
Slawomir Milewski: As a ‘healthy’ person I care about food production. I admit I think proteins are important, so I eat meat as well as vegetables, which I think humans were naturally meant to do. However, whether it’s regarding meat or produce, corporate farming means so many toxins, from growth hormones to pesticides, go into our food. Related to that, globalised mass consumption and consumerism are destroying not only individuality and international cultures, but the planet, too.
How do you think governments can best act to help the planet?
Slawomir Milewski: Governments have the power to so, but it seems they are not doing it.
And people won’t demand such measures anyway, as there is still a very naive approach to nature as being an endless source of natural resources, which is clearly not the case anymore. Given that so much more money gets invested in the military sector rather than on ecological issues, I am not very optimistic about the future of mankind.
All images but portrait are from the artist’s films. For more information, please click here.