campus news & events

Colby-Sawyer College to Present Environmental Documentary 'Manufactured Landscapes' on Impact of Industrialization in China

NEW LONDON, N.H. – Colby-Sawyer College will present the environmental documentary “Manufactured Landscapes", a visual journey through the impact of industrialization on China, as part of its Human Rights and Social Justice Film series.

The film will be shown Tuesday, Nov. 27, at 7 p.m. in Wheeler Hall at the Ware Campus Center. Community members are invited to attend and admission is free.

Directed and produced by Canadian Jennifer Baichwal, the 2006 documentary is based on the work of artist Edward Burtynsky, who is renowned for creating stunningly beautiful photographs of civilization's debris. The film follows Burtynsky as he documents the industrialization of China, creating a sobering mosaic of the effects of the country's industrial revolution on the environmental landscape.

Most striking about the documentary is the size and scale of its subject material: coal yards are the size of small states, the Three Gorges Dam is twice as large as any other dam in the world. The opening shot shows seemingly endless rows of Chinese factory workers in yellow work suits, and a factory work floor a kilometer long.

The documentary is intended to be more than a collection of set pieces, as it clearly is focused on the issues raised by globalization and industrialization. Burtynsky and Baichwal leave it to viewers to decide what is being said, however, and opt only to point out the inherent trickiness of the issues they raise.

“Manufactured Landscapes” has garnered many honors, among them Best Canadian Film at the Toronto International Film Festival and Best Canadian Film and Best Documentary from the Toronto Film Critics Association.

Edward Burtynsky is known as one of Canada's most respected photographers. His remarkable depictions of global industrial landscapes are in the collections of major museums around the world, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Bibliotèque Nationale in Paris, the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

To learn more about him, visit:

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-Marc LeBourdais

Marc LeBourdais is an English major and currently works as an intern in College Communications at Colby-Sawyer College.

Colby-Sawyer, founded in 1837, is a comprehensive liberal arts college located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire. Students from 25 states and five foreign countries learn in small classes through a select array of programs that integrate the liberal arts and sciences with pre-professional experience. Visit us on the World Wide Web at

Colby-Sawyer College, 541 Main Street, New London, N.H. 03257 (603) 526-3000