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The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Blog post written by Sarah Lockwood, Cinema & Photography '15, FLEFF Intern, Blairstown, NJ
In order to define microtopias, I believe we must divide the word into two logical halves, toss in a little bit of etymology, then piece it back together again. With a little help from the Online Etymology Dictionary, of course.
Sounds like - microscope, microphone, microchip, microeconomics.
What it derives from - Greek, form of micros, meaning small.
Sounds like - dystopia, utopia, digitopia, topiary.
What it derives from - Greek, topia is plural of topian, meaning a field, which is diminutive of topos, meaning place.
Small places, small worlds, small moments. How and where they exist.
Microtopias are different for each person, which partly embodies their brilliance. True to their etymological origin, the small places human beings create when they express themselves and connect with one another, create microtopias.
However I do pose a question as to the choice of microtopias for FLEFF 2012: the word is not, may I note, microUTOPIAS.
I fear that many who encounter the word microtopias will assume one end of the topia bias, in favor of divine perfection and ephemeral beauty, over the other topia with which intellectuals are familiar - dystopia, which embodies the abnormal, the difficult, the imperfect.
Rather, topos or topia simply indicates a place - for good or for evil.
Do you believe this neutral choice was deliberate?
Monday, February 20, 2012
Blog posting written by Andrew Ronald, Film, Photography & Visual Arts '15, FLEFF Intern, Mahopac, New York
The theme of FLEFF this year explores the concept of microtpias, and because this definition varies on a number of levels, I figured I would tackle my own definition of the term. And you can put the dictionary down because the idea behind microtopias is too abstract to be defined in a single sentence (and isn't even in the dictionary in the first place).
Alright, here's the English lesson for all you language aficionados out there. Microtopias is coined from the prefix micro, meaning small, and suffix topos, meaning a place. Microtopias therefore, are essentially small places. Logical, right? But is that really where the definition ends?
Microtopias are portmanteaus of reality and unification. The reality is that one singular, harmonious utopia cannot be achieved. In fact, to distinguish utopia from communism may call for a very interesting conversation. But microtopias are still unifying nonetheless, and this accounts for why they can be found on such a global scale. Utopias preach for a marriage between perfection and peace. But realistically, we must divorce ourselves from this idealistic society and strive to achieve unison in compartmentalized divisions - divisions we would call microtopias.
FLEFF understands this notion. It's a microtopia of its own and leads to interminable conversations revolving around complicated situations. It makes us strive to perfect sustainability, mesmerizes us through music, gain insight through international films and disrupts the premise of a utopia. Microtopias are now and they are here to stay.
How would you define microtopias? Do you think the foundation behind building a utopia is unrealistic?