How often are people the raw materials used in art and discourse? In an increasingly fragmented and prolific media environment, real stories have become a highly valued resource. People’s lives are turned into documentaries, podcasts, books, feature films, articles, digital content, Facebook posts, Tweet threads, Instagram stories, etc...
In a rally, you may hear a politician tell the story of how they met ‘Darren, the supermarket cashier’ and how he said that their policies are ‘really the best thing for the British people’. At an art gallery, you may hear of the heartbreaking and meaningful stories of the artist themselves or people they met, which have an emotional weight but conveniently also prove a larger point. It has become commonplace to package human lives into story containers and trade them for money, votes, recognition, and validation.
Sam’s work explores the ethics of mining people for their stories and trading them elsewhere. As someone whose work is entirely about this increasingly rarified resource, he invites the audience to take part in the murky process of non-fiction and draw their own conclusions.
Sam Gonçalves is a documentary filmmaker based in Dundee.