Dir. Florian Weigensamer, Christian Krönes | Austria/Ghana | 2018 | 92 mins
If you’ve ever wondered where your electronic waste goes, this film is for you. Charting recycling efforts in the world’s largest electronic waste dump in Agbogbloshie, Accra, this film paints a devastating picture of environmental decay and the enduring impacts of colonialist exploitation.
Capturing land littered with metal scraps, toxic fumes from smouldering fires of plastic and vast expanses of never-ending rubbish, Welcome to Sodom offers a rare insight into a place so damaged by waste, it almost appears a post-apocalyptic version of human life as we know it. Amongst this backdrop, our narrators – all local workers – forge a living, sharing their lives, hopes and histories. This film is a deeply human story of the consoling quality of hope, and an urgent call for action by those of us who gain the benefits of electronics without bearing the shocking environmental, health and social costs.
Dr Sean O’Malley is a behavioural ecologist by training but has spent most of his early working life as a research and development manager in a range of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies in local and international roles. Sean joined Planet Ark 11 years ago following a project developing some innovative bioplastic products. Planet Ark is 25 this year, its focus is to create simple, powerful and positive actions that help people, governments and businesses reduce their impact on the environment. In the last 18 months this has included a focus on e-waste and how we can change behaviours and recover value as we transition to a circular economy. As the research and technical manager, Sean reviews the science that underpins the organisation’s activities now and into the future.