In today’s information-saturated e-culture we too often find our mainstream media outlets preoccupied with the notion of the Crisis du Jour, with the tragic consequence that many of the world’s conflicts are left to languish as Terra Obscura, or “hidden territory”.
At Terra Obscura Films, we are in the business of uncovering the root causes of conflict. Large-scale human conflicts rarely occur in a historical or geo-political vacuum, yet the dominant media culture treats nuance and historical context either with contempt or as expendable luxuries. A ceaseless parade of sound bites and rushed-to-market certainties have come to represent the journalistic norm, with the result that many of the world’s crises appear to take shape spontaneously, without antecedent, and without rational explanation. In like manner, the global response to collective violence and suffering is often preoccupied only with the most recent stimuli, rather than a concerted effort to uncover root causes and complex motivations.
It is through the open exchange of ideas and conflicting narratives that we form the basis for diplomatic and inter-cultural dialogue. However, such exchanges are only made possible through access to the unsanitized and authentically human experience of conflict. Only when we seize the opportunity to hear the faint echo of our own humanity in the frailties, prejudices, and fears of conflicted parties can we begin to identify the common fears and underlying needs that connect us all.
Terra Obscura Films is an initiative born of the belief that media outlets must function as open forums, spaces where the voices of conflict can be heard side by side and without judgment. Like any human voice, it is inevitable that ours will be colored with bias, however we aim to temper this bias with a self-critical approach and a commitment to representing all points of view. In this way we aim to achieve a reputation for integrity and inclusivity that will make us an attractive alternative to the mainstream, both for those who have suffered in silence and for those who might otherwise speak only through force of arms.