Michele Horrigan Back
Stigma Damages part 3

Video, sculpture

Continuing an ongoing investigation of Aughinish Alumina, Europe’s largest bauxite processing plant, an iteration of Stigma Damages exposes the genealogy and ongoing policy of corporate greenwashing at the site. A widespread campaign beside Ireland’s Shannon Estuary since the 1980s continues to convey false impressions and misleading information that the refinery’s products and activities are, if you were to believe, environmentally sound. What is the pretense of this language? Where and how is it encountered?

From blaming winds from the Sahara desert for toxic dust storms in the locale, to newspaper advertisements singing the virtues of the industry for local school children, and careful evasion of Environmental Protection Agency protocols, the Aughinish plan today continues with plans to extend in size through until 2030, with no conscious environmental or social transition programmes in place. Exhibition curator Michael Hill notes, ‘The film, narrated by Amy Conroy, explores the “greenwashing” practices at the site, including a nearby nature reserve with no visible birds, insects, or sea-life, picnic areas completely overshadowed by the enormous refinery, and futile attempts at beautifying the industrial landscape by planting decorative topiary hedges.’