The Ghost Fleet Screening followed by a Q&A with the director
On Thursday evening we were hosted by the wonderful Prinzesinnengarten, where we screened the documentary film Ghost Fleet by director Shannon Service. The evening was balmy, the garden filled with the buzz of locals and new-comers, all enjoying the heat of the evening and the lush green surroundings of the community-grown vegetation.
The movie is a truly compelling tale about slavery in the fishing industry. It tells the story of a group of activists headed by Patima Tungpuchayakul – a Thai abolitionist – who tracks down lost men, people fallen through the cracks of the human slave trade, in order to bring them home.
The seats were packed and a few of us had to stand – but we were captivated nonetheless, absorbed by the story of this selfless women and her brave and valiant team.
After the screening, the audience had the opportunity to ask Shannon questions about the movie. We learnt with equal surprise and dismay, that the slave trade is more widespread today then before it was abolished.
Service (herself an environmentalist) further outlined the interconnectedness of environmental devastation and humanitarian failures, explaining how the slave trade is inextricably linked to environmental damage. It is simply not economically feasible to sustain over-fishing when your crew is paid proper wages, their work hours kept to a sustainable amount and you keep to the waters you are permitted to fish in. Sadly this is not the reality, and authorities seem to be slow in their response to the issue.
But there is hope yet. In the words of the director; “Now, at the end of our own five-year-long line, I find… the hope of redemption. That our film will help Patima in her mission to bring these horrors to light. That our rolling cameras caught glimpses of these men’s stunning hearts. And that their courage ignites our own.”
If you’d like to know if your fish is caught by slave labor, you can sign up to their newsletter on the Ghost Fleet website.
Thanks to all that was there!
Barbara Cilliers is a Berlin based photographer and content creator with a passion for sustainability and the environment.