Dado Film Society @ Robin Boyd House | Walsh Street | 18 June | 7pm.
Oil Rocks: City Above the Sea
2009, Dir. Marc Wolfensberger , 52 mins, Russian/Azerbaijani/French with English subtitles
Guest Speaker: Peter Raisbeck
Behind this enigmatic name lies the world’s first and largest offshore oil town ever built – Neft Daşları, aka “Oil Rocks”, commissioned by Stalin in 1949. Still in operation today, about 100km off the coast of Azerbaijan, this vast and sprawling web of oil platforms is connected by a conflagration of steel trestle bridges, pipes and tanks, and various commercial and community buildings.
Sixty-five years after its inception, more than half of the infrastructure at Oil Rocks has been reclaimed by the Caspian Sea. Yet the inhabitants here display pride not only in their environment, but also their profession. The area is still the closely guarded secret it was in Soviet times so few foreigners gain access.
This is the first time a western film crew has been allowed to take a rare look into the world of the oil workers, a community of several thousand people who spend weeks at a time on shift at sea. Combining black-and-white archives from the Soviet era with modern footage, the film reveals a timeless place and its amazing inhabitants.
Image above © Thin Line Production
Dr. Peter Raisbeck is a Senior Lecturer and leader of the Master of Architecture Program at the University of Melbourne. His research interests reflect his diverse experiences but he is nonetheless focused on the points of convergence between global finance, construction management and architectural design and practice. He has published locally and internationally on a broad range of topics from PPPs and building procurement methods to living quarters in Antarctica, marine cities and utopian architectures.