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The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view
Thursday, March 5, 2015
Blog posting by Katie Beaule, Communication Management and Design '16, FLEFF Blogger, Windsor, CT
When someone once asked Jimmy Buffet where his famous Margaritaville was, he responded, “It’s anywhere you want it to be”. Thus, with island music playing in the back of his mind, Associate Professor and Chair of the Anthropology Department, David Turkon responded the same to the question of habitats:
“It’s a place that you love to be…A habitat is anywhere you want it to be”.
Turkon has dedicated much of his life to understanding the society and culture of Lesotho, a landlocked country completely surrounded by South Africa.
Whether it was working with past HIV/AIDS programs or current childhood development studies, Turkon has always found ways to be immersed in this habitat.
“There’s all this stuff happening around you, you’re just amazed and enamored by it.”
Since his first trip in 1987, Turkon has continuously made efforts to go back to Lesotho and to explore different projects that are being done. He explains that throughout his time there, he has watched history unfold and has seen surrounding South Africa shift from apartheid to a more modern, convivial environment.
“It’s kind of this world that I have been able to penetrate and learn from. It makes me think differently about the world and my own culture”.
One key insight that Turkon gained from his time abroad is that his own world is filled with privileges and perks that should be acknowledged and questioned.
“When you get home all of a sudden, that’s when the real shock hits because now you’re confronted with just how easy you have it”.
Therefore, he has learned that his privileges should not assume supremacy when he is traveling. Instead, they should act as a tool for listening and assistance so that ownership of problems can still remain in the hands of the local people.
Through the strong connections that Turkon has made in Lesotho, he is able to gain advice from his peers on which African films are best suited for FLEFF. He is always looking for films that accurately portray the land and its people, and those which raise awareness of its modern day issues.
The film that Turkon is most excited to see during FLEFF week is Miners Shot Down, a film about police brutality in South Africa during a miners strike.
As FLEFF week approaches, Turkon is beginning to review other films that have made it through the selection process. He is ready to dive in and explore new habitats, just as he has always done so effectively in the past.
Habitats are anywhere you want them to be. Where do you want to be during FLEFF week? Take a look at the list of films and choose which ones you hope to attend!