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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 Sydney Augustine at 11:04PM

Written by Sydney Augustine, Sports Media ‘19, Blogging Intern, Queens, New York

Our Daily Bread disrupted my entire diet in mid-November 2018. 

I screened the Nikolaus Geyrhalter’s documentary in my Environment and Media seminar, last fall.

The up-close and realistic views of how modern food companies employ technology to produce massive amounts of food forced me to reflect on my personal food consumption.

Observing defenseless baby chicks being carelessly flung into crates by factory workers, and later slaughtered on conveyor belts, left me nauseated.

My incomparable love for chicken quickly disappeared. Cravings for a Popeyes box vanished. 

Instead, feelings of uncomfortableness and even guilt for my societal role as a carnivore left my stomach churning

I never expected that week’s discussion, which surrounded an exploration of maps, food, land, and technology, to disrupt my lifestyle.

But it did.

Ultimately, I made the decision to abstain from all meat and meat-by-products after the conclusion of the film.

I still continue this practice even to this day.

Media can disrupt and alter individual behaviors and my personal story is a prime example of this. 

As we unexpectedly, but openly, consume new information, we can later find ourselves in deep thought and reflection.

Disruption is not self-centered though for it should interrupt the lives of others.

A rippling effect should occur where you disseminate your new-found knowledge to others. 

I took this opportunity by cooking vegetable lasagna for my family when I returned home for Thanksgiving, but also sharing the film and providing context to my change in thought.

One film disrupted my diet. FLEFF has a much larger impact on more people.

FLEFF’s programming, which is not limited to film, but includes new media exhibitions, concerts, lectures, readings, workshops, master classes, roundtables, and labs as well, allows for an experience where your normalized thoughts and beliefs are uniquely interrupted. 

No one is expected to make major lifestyle changes like I did, but are strongly encouraged to reflect, work through the disruption by engaging in discourse, and sharing what they learn with others.

The theme for this year, DISRUPTIONS, is absolutely fitting for this time because we live in a world with many opposing sides and various viewpoints

Everyone has an opinion but there's often a lack of conversation in between.

So FLEFF’s disruption will actually come from creating a space for people to engage in discussion with one another. 

I look forward to seeing how each attendee will be individually confused by events that challenge their socially constructed beliefs and values.

But I am even more excited for the thought-provoking conversations that lie ahead. 

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