Jan Ijäs’s short documentaries from the Waste series travel the world. Waste no. 1 Money (2017) was screened at Montenegro Film Festival, held from August 1–8 in Herceg Novi. It will also be screened at Piriapolis Film Festival, held in Uruguay from August 10–12, as well in the international competitions of Lviv International Short Film Festival, held in Ukraine from August 6–12, and the 18th Seoul International NewMedia Festival, held from August 15–24.
In Waste no. 1 Money, inflation has resulted in the Zimbabwe dollar completely losing its value. Banknotes are literally recyclable goods, turned into tablecloths and lampshades, for example. In the Harare slums, which are rife with crime, valuable US dollar banknotes must be concealed in clothing, which means that the notes quickly become breeding grounds for bacteria. According to money launderers, dollar bills can best be gently hand washed with Omo detergent in warm water.
Le radeau de la Méduse parallels the wrecked boats of the African immigrants on the Italian Lampedusa island and the abandoned cars of asylum seekers that have travelled from Russia to Salla, Finnish Lapland with Théodore Géricault’s painting The Raft of the Medusa (1818-1819), located in Louvre. Based on true events, the subject of the painting is the 1816 shipwreck of Méduse, a frigate with administrative personnel on their way from France to African colonies. The passengers of the ship rescued on a raft they built and left drifting on the open sea with fatal consequences. Over the years, the painting has become a universal symbol for both despair and hope.
Media artist and filmmaker Jan Ijäs lives and works in Helsinki, Finland. Ijäs works with documentary, fiction and alternative film. The films of Ijäs deal with serious and difficult social themes, like migration into foreign and hostile societies. Ijäs’s films have been shown very widely abroad by over a hundred film festivals and as installations in museums and galleries.