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The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Blog posting written by Kimberly Capehart, Documentary Studies and Production '16, FLEFF Blogger, Cherry Hill, NJ
How much time do you spend on the Internet?
In a society that is constantly connected to smartphones and laptops, researchers have determined that the average teenager spends around seventeen hours a week online. But with the modern potential the Internet has for communicating with others, how can you blame them?
Popular websites like Twitter and Facebook make it childishly simple to share thoughts and ideas; and once that idea is put out on the Internet, it's as simple as the click of a mouse (or the click of a trackpad, for all of you wireless folks) to share that idea and to spread it to more people. The "retweet" option on Twitter and the "share" option on Facebook promote a global network of idea sharing: a tweet can be tweeted in Ithaca, New York and in a matter of seconds can be seen by people as far away as Berlin, Germany and Koriyama, Japan.
The potential for idea sharing isn't limited to social media. Smartphone applications like Instagram and the recently-popular Snapchat allow users to share pictures in a matter of seconds. Internet-based computer applications like Skype and Oovoo allow people from around the globe to video chat while simultaneously allowing them to share files.
This list of websites and applications that connect people and their ideas goes on and on and is constantly growing each day. The number, and diversity, of users is also growing daily; teenagers aren't the only ones taking advantage of idea sharing. Major corporations, local businesses, non-profits, musicians, artists, and so many more people reach a huge audience through this global idea network and can easily tweet, post, share, etc. their own ideas much more easily.
Mobilities is what makes this massive sharing of ideas possible, even when people are sitting at home. Mobilities allows ideas to spread around the globe and spark new ideas in others with ease. Connections and communications that never would have been able to happen are able take place thanks to the global idea network that Mobilities accommodates.
FLEFF is what brings these ideas, and the people responsible for said ideas, together. If so much idea sharing is able to take place around the world without people meeting, imagine how much more occurs when people come face to face.
This year at FLEFF, members of this global network of ideas will connect face to face. People from all over the world will be coming to Ithaca, NY to share their ideas on a wide range of topics, and the best part is YOU can join in on this global conversation and share YOUR ideas.
Are you ready to network?
Monday, March 26, 2012
Blog post by Sarah Lockwood, Cinema & Photography '15, FLEFF Intern, Blairstown, NJ
From talking with Menna Khalil, an activist with the Arab Spring movement, it was impossible not to come away with a thorough understanding of the movement's past, present, and future. For those who are not familiar, I asked Menna to discuss a few topics, which I have condensed into the following explanations:
The pot of Arab Spring has been boiling for decades, each country's actions and movements affecting and inspiring one another. In Egypt, specifically, where Menna specializes, most of the unrest derives from its political background - nearly thirty years of nepotism, the gradual diminishing of the middle class, and the domestication and domination of people's everyday lives as a result.
The straw that "broke the camel's back" for the revolution were the "notorious police brutality" found on the streets of Egypt. In one case, a young engineer living in Alexandria was found brutally beaten to death and mouth stuffed with drugs, in a framing of his murder Why?
This man had recorded, and distributed via the internet, a video of several policemen making a drug deal and keeping the money for themselves. This incident along with countless accounts of "humiliating treatment" and "brutal corruption" of the police forces in Egypt spurned the revolution once again.
Menna notes that much of the Arab Spring movement is derived from a sense of "nostalgia" in Egypt. What does she mean by this?
For years, Egypt existed as a nation whose sense of ownership and pride, "being Egyptian", was weak. In order to feel proud of your own society, says Menna, you had to "walk very close to a wall with your head down" and hope not to get caught.
Smaller revolutions in nearby countries preceded Arab Spring, with the hopes of one day developing into a revolution or movement. As an area of the world who, in decades past, have been exposed to war and revolutions, the current generation was moved by a sense of nostalgia for revolution, as well as a desire for change.
The incident of the policemen's drug actions distributed through the internet is a prime example of modern media's affect on the current movement, to which Menna responded emphatically.
Menna feels the internet works as a powerful source of circulation - allowing individuals from opposite ends of the world to share their revolutionary experiences and witness them, respectively. The modern age of connection and distribution gives rise to a movement unlike any other in the past. However, there is a level of caution to take.
Facebook invites to protest were often viewed as "jokes" by older revolutionaries in some ages and "a lot of what happens, can happen, is in the streets" and "is never fully captured by Facebook or Twitter."
As an Egyptian and activist, Menna hopes that the bittersweet term "Arab Spring" and its movement will not eventually fade. The term "spring" evokes the image of a flower "blooming in the spring", which is a beautiful sign for Egyptians and other persons living in the middle east.
However, it also evokes a temporality - that the spring may eventually fade. The middle east conditions are still unclear, not yet "at its best place" for Egypt, Syria, Palestine, and other nations.
"As an Egyptian, I want to think that the revolution is not over, has not sprung then phased out into a different season."
Listen to Menna and her husband, Michael Kennedy, discuss this movement further during their talk tonight, at 7pm in Williams 225, Ithaca College.