This video is a trailer for Dinh Q. Lê's 'The Colony', filmed on the Chincha Islands off the coast of Peru, 2016.
Home to huge colonies of birds, by the middle of the 19th century the Chincha islands had become mountains of guano. Discovered to be a potent fertiliser, guano quickly became one of the world's most valuable natural resources. British merchants controlled its trade, using indentured Chinese labourers working under brutal conditions. The islands have not been permanently inhabited for more than a century, but labourers return to harvest the guano by hand every few years. Lê films from a boat approaching the islands, cameras on the ground and drones circling above to capture a bleak landscape haunted by its brutal past.
For more information: artangel.org.uk/project/the-colony/