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Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival Issues Call for Entries for Digital Art Exhibition

ITHACA, NY — Ithaca College’s Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival (FLEFF) and its new partner, the Bangkok-based Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW), are issuing a call for entries for “Trafficked Identities,” a digital art exhibition to be featured at FLEFF 2011, April 11–17. The curators invite submissions of new media art, database documentaries, digital video designed for online exhibition platforms and other web‐based media that engage the theme of “Checkpoints,” the theme of FLEFF 2011. A prize of $250 will be awarded.

Contestants are asked to submit links to submissions with a brief bio in an e-mail to curators Dale Hudson (UAE/USA) and Sharon Lin Tay (UK/Singapore) at digifleff.gaatw@gmail.com no later than March 15, 2011. Only projects that can be exhibited online can be considered. Projects previously curated in FLEFF exhibits as well as projects by Ithaca College students, faculty or staff are also not eligible.

An alliance of more than 90 nongovernmental organizations, GAATW is dedicated to defending the rights of trafficked persons and migrants in regard to the threat of an increasingly globalized labor market, calls for safety standards for migrant workers in the garment, food-processing and farming industries, and persons trafficked across international borders for the purposes of forced labor and the global sex trade.

“FLEFF and GAATW are interested in discovering the ways in which digital art can visualize and engage viewers in experiencing the complexities of migration, human trafficking and labor issues,” said Patricia Zimmermann, a codirector of FLEFF. “Embodying how trafficked people’s identities and experiences can be fragmented and pigeon-holed by authorities and policy makers is very much in keeping with FLEFF’s mission of providing a vibrant space for dialogs that embrace public health, civil war and other global 21st-century concerns.”

“A person can simultaneously be a refugee, a worker, a trafficked person, a family breadwinner, a community leader and an undocumented migrant,” said Julie Ham, program coordinator for GAATW. “Yet policies created to help one identity may end up endangering another identity, such as when repatriation policies for trafficked persons endanger refugees trying to escape conflict and abuse. This partnership with FLEFF will enable us to explore how art practices can address the fragmentation and limitation of people’s identities in anti‐trafficking and migration policies.”

“Anti‐trafficking campaigns often rely on victimization narratives that leave structural barriers, such as racial discrimination and restrictive migration policies, unchallenged,” added Tom Shevory, also a codirector of FLEFF. “Within the framework of our GAATW partnership, we aim to use digital media as a platform to promote the recognition of trafficked persons’ rights, strengths and power. How, for example, may the bodies that are smuggled past political checkpoints be represented in ways that educate viewers about the geopolitical structures that depend on slavery-like practices and conditions?”

In addition to the “Trafficked Identities” exhibit, FLEFF 2011 will feature a weeklong offering of feature films, forums, labs, panel discussions, for-credit labs on new media design and silent film/live music presentations.

Launched in 1997 as an outreach project from Cornell University’s Center for the Environment, the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival was moved permanently to Ithaca College in 2005. It is housed in the Office of the Provost as a program to link intellectual inquiry and debate to larger global issues.

For more information on FLEFF, visit www.ithaca.edu/fleff or contact Patricia Zimmermann at patty@ithaca.edu.
More information on GAATW is available at http://www.gaatw.org.

ABOUT THE CURATORS
Dale Hudson teaches film and new media studies at New York University Abu Dhabi, located in the United Arab Emirates. His work on global cinema and new media appears in numerous journals, including “Afterimage,” “Cinema Journal” and “Studies in Documentary Film.”

Sharon Lin Tay teaches film and digital theory at Middlesex University in London. Currently on sabbatical, she is a visiting associate professor at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University. Her 2009 book about women filmmakers and digital artists is entitled “Women on the Edge: Twelve Political Film Practices.”
 



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