Solveig Suess, AAA Cargo, 2018, video, 34’
(Korean subtitles and editing: Hara Shin, Kyoungtae Lee)
AAA Cargo is a documentary film essay about the New Silk Road promoted by the Chinese government that has led to new forms of logistic distribution, working patterns, population movement and topographic changes. The New Silk Road is another name for the One Belt One Road project, known as the largest development in human history, and aims to build a standardized transportation system and communication network to connect Asia, Africa and Europe. As ancient China enjoyed political and economic prosperities through the original Silk Road, this new overland and sea routes are indicative of China’s ambitious plan to dominate Northeast Asia's logistics industry. However, the ancient Silk Road was very different from the New Silk Road, which ensures maximum efficiency with the shortest routes.The past version was more like a tangled network within which diverse and heterogeneous cultures are interconnected due to the movements of populations and supplies from different areas. AAA Cargo features a journey along the New Silk Road. Freight rail lines often appear on this road trip, starting at the Urumqi International Airport and extending across the vast deserts. Through the occasional conversation in the film, we can only guess that this sandy desert once contained a lake called Lop Nur and small villages where people lived and planted fruit trees. Built through fast data streams, real-time tracking systems and cutting-edge digital infrastructures, this New Silk Road is now lined only with railways and warehouses.
*Solveig Suess is a Berlin-based writer, researcher and documentary filmmaker. Her work investigates embodied and ecological politics across the infrastructures of migration, trade, media and other circuits. Suess is co-author of the project Geocinema with Asia Bazdyrieva and also co-edits Concrete Flux, an experimental documentary platform that publishes accounts of aesthetic journalism in Chinese and English. She is a former Digital Earth Fellow, having graduated from the Strelka Institute in Moscow and the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London.
-Text by Eunji Park