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The Delmarva Chicken Of Tomorrow

From today's menu, I recommend Capitalism or Cannibalism; Communism is off. Our Catholicism is rather good, though; it comes with a liberal sauce or tourist topping. This is our pre-theatre-of-poverty menu. Meanwhile, The Delmarva Chicken of Tomorrow grows over-rapidly large on a forced steroidal diet. Elsewhere, the cousins of The Delmarva Chicken of Tomorrow pluck and hack in feathered ecstasy over the carcass of a chicken too careless crossing the road. This bright and colourful scene is but a moment of a clamorous market economy busy with flies and children; industrious striped-potbellied pigs rummaging through heaps between houses half-sunk in muddy water, while villagers jump from stone to stone. Cannibalism has long been a favourite on western menus. Other peoples' cannibalism, that is. More than a colonial culinary oddity, it divided the men from the animals; the savagery of the conquistadors was projected onto their victims - after all, they, too, sported feathers. Rumours of cannibalism persist in tourist guides and travel books today; some people still wear feathers (though most of them have long since died of influenza). Specially breed with less feathers and more meat, The Delmarva Chicken of Tomorrow is a film that dream-walks from the beaches of Mirtsdroy, where huge tourists, plucked and oiled, baste themselves standing up, to the muddy markets of Sumatra, via an archipelago of Export-Processing zones and television archives. Hand processed with bacterially cultured stock, the images are themselves in organic decay; all the colours and forms of the scrap heap. Between dream and nightmare, The Delmarva Chicken of Tomorrow is a traversal of here and elsewhere, first and third world; a fairytale of production, resources, capitalism, globalisation, refuse and refusal: The Delmarva Chicken of Tomorrow is a film not about the struggle to be seen, but about the struggle to see. With thanks to the Prelinger archive.

Andrea Luka Zimmerman

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