MLF collaborates with Elif Shafak for FT’s film series

Terra Incognita draws on nature show parallels between democracy and the broader ecosystem

Experiential art collective Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF) have collaborated with award-winning Turkish-British novelist Elif Shafak as part of the newly launched Financial Times short film series, Democracy, 2024. 

The new film, Terra Incognita, which will be screened at various international events, festivals and panels across 2024, draws on nature to illustrate the parallels between democracy and the broader ecosystem.

Terra Incognita draws on the wealth of MLF artworks that foster a deep connection between audiences and nature, and includes elements from three existing artworks that have been exhibited internationally— Sanctuary of the Unseen Forest, We Live in an Ocean of Air, and Treehugger.

Inspired by the fact that more people around the world have the opportunity to vote in 2024 than ever before, The Financial Times has commissioned award-winning global authors to describe their unique perspectives on democracy and its relevance, fragility and value. The films are directed by Juliet Riddell, head of new formats at the FT. Other writers involved in the series include Margaret Atwood, Lola Shoneyin, and comedian Aditi Mittal. 

Elif Shafak said: ‘This year, more than ever before, will be a crucial test for the vitality and survival of democracy. Too many times I have heard people say, ‘maybe democracy is a Western concept and therefore, it doesn’t work in different parts of the world.’ But democracy is universal. Just like human rights and women’s rights are universal values. Democracy does not belong to a single culture or a particular geography, just the opposite, it is the shared story of humanity. 

‘At this historical moment of fragility and uncertainty, climate crisis and environmental destruction, but also of cautious optimism and precious hope, art and literature can connect us beyond borders and across divides. As a writer, I am delighted and deeply inspired to take part in such a unique and thought-provoking, multi-disciplinary project and I appreciate how it connects minds and hearts.

Featured image: Terra Incognita