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FLEFF Intern Voices

The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view

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Posted by Kaley Belval at 10:56PM   |  2 comments
Kaley Belval

 Blog posting written by Kaley Belval, Documentary Studies and Production '15, FLEFF Intern, Woodbury, CT

Most people think of utopias as these grand, beautiful places where everyone is filled with happiness and bliss. Other than maybe a vacation to Hawaii or some other island with clear blue waters, white sands, and palm trees, that does not seem very attainable. 

In New York City this past summer, there was a microtopia on Governor's Island as a project for the Figment NYC 2011 Festival. It was a small area created for children and the community, created by those who lived nearby. From May until September, it provided a place for the community to gather, learn, and have fun. 

This is the type of impact that I believe FLEFF will have on the Ithaca community, and on everyone who attends the festival. 

My idea of a microtopia is a place that is small, intimate, and a personal haven amidst the stress of everyday life. Personally, I found that when I went to Block Island last summer. Without much television, internet, or entertainment, the things that I normally did to keep myself occupied became extremely limited. Because of the lack of constant intellectual and visual stimulation, I actually began to lose track of time, read books, and spend quality time with the people I love-all without the interruption of technology. 

The point of microtopias, I believe, is to give everyone their own personal place to relax and find themselves. Each one is different, and specific to each individual, but it can do a lot. So what does your microtopia do for you? I would love to hear about it. 


2 Comments


Kaley, you raise such an important point about how microtopias can be mapped by intimacy and the small, rather than the impersonal and the big. And your post suggests that the digital surround infusing our minutes and our fingers functions more like a shield, producing isolation from interaction that is slower, more thoughtful, more penetrating. I appreciate your suggestion that a microtopia serves as a place to relax, where what will come in, will come, taking us somewhere else.

Thank you, Dr. Zimmermann! I have always thought of certain places as this type of calming, relaxing situation away from technology that you cannot find anywhere else. I thought microtopias were the perfect word for them!



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