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Populus Tremula at Scheld’apen festival (Kran Film Collective)

Kran Film Collective

Populus Tremula at Scheld’apen festival

a film by
Benj Gerdes and Jennifer Hayashida
at SCHELD’APEN festival
6 – 23 September
Antwerpen

Populus Tremula is a 16mm film originating from artistic research into Swedish “Match King” Ivar Kreuger (1880 – 1932), whom The Economist in 2007 called “the world’s greatest financial swindler” and who was the founder of Svenska T√§ndsticksaktiebolaget (the Swedish Matchstick Corporation), today called Swedish Match. Between 1917 and 1932, Kreuger capitalized on shifts in global financial markets to control over 200 companies and establish matchstick monopolies in at least 34 countries; he borrowed money at low rates on U.S. markets and in turn loaned these funds to countries that granted him market monopolies, thereby initiating, according to some scholars, practices currently enacted by the IMF and WTO. Populus Tremula consists of contemporary footage shot in two extant Swedish Match factories in Vetlanda and Tidaholm, Sweden. Both factory locations have been active since the 19th century, and while the manufacturing process is now almost fully automated, beyond the removal of human labor, it has changed little since the early 20th century.

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Benj Gerdes