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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 Nnebundo Obi at 10:11PM

Blog posting written by Nnebundo A. Obi, FLEFF Intern, South Setauket NY.

Hockett Hall hummed with the unbridled anticipation of hundreds of people. We, members of the audience patiently ambled our way down the steep stairs of the concert hall. Anticipation and excitement whirled inside me, finally, the long-awaited moment was here.

Dr. Saunders, the Assistant Provost of International Studies and Extended Studies welcome remarks signaled the start of the event. A gradual hush fell across the room as she spoke. One common thread in her speech tied the theme “Disruptions” together. She warned the audience against “the precarious times where it seems like our political, social and environmental environments are being confronted and abused by different institutions.”

Dr. Saunders recognized that in order to combat some of the imminent challenges we face, it is key that we stay above “the shifting sands”. Recognizing the dangers of fictionalized truths and the senseless pursuit of capital at the expense of our environment and our lives may lead us down a difficult path. In her words “Disruptions” peels back the veneer to show the oppression of marginalized people to whom disruption has been a consistent part of their lives. Some of the issues that they have contended with disproportionately pertain to environmental change, armed conflict, forced migration among other issues.

The performances at FLEFF were as phenomenal as Dr. Zimmermann had promised the blogging interns they would be. The performers in the 21st FLEFF concert were composed of faculty, students and professional musicians and a visual artist. All the performances and projections would not have been possible without the help of students and external collaborators working behind the scenes.

 It was difficult for me to choose which performances I enjoyed the most, they were all very high quality. The ones that were memorable were that of the spoken word poet Jaylene Clark, the operatic performances of Dawn Pierce, Marc Webster and Elena Galvan as well as the visual art pieces created by Philip Mallory Jones.

The performances were all dynamic in terms of the incorporation of acting, dancing, singing and interacting with the audience. All the performances were disruptive in their own unique ways. Ranging from the use of comedic relief to the incorporation of contemporary social issues into visual art and spoken word poetry the broad swathe of performances showed me that the word “disruptions” can be embodied in a variety of ways.

One of my favourite moments out of the entire performance was when Elena Galvan walked up the stairs during part of her rendition of “Glitter and be Gay", composed by Leonard Bernstein. Here is a fun fact for the musical aficionados, the song comes from the operetta “Candide” which is based on a book written in 1759 by Voltaire. Ms. Galvan’s performance was dynamic, Her vocals soared high and flew gracefully across the room, leaving us sitting at the edge of our seats.

If this account of last night’s performance piques your interest, definitely keep an eye on our website for further updates.

Enjoy your FLEFF experience!!!


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