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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 Thomas Gonzalez at 3:26PM

Disruptions can come without warning. Disruptions change both the environment in which they occur as well as the perceptions those affected.

Disruptions are often unwelcome. It is not often that one willingly changes course toward a new end. Disruptions challenge preconceptions and create new conceptions about the world.


In the story of Plato’s cave, three men are chained together and are unable move. From behind them, a roaring fire projects are great light on the wall in front of them. The world that these men know is only the shadows on the wall in front of them.


One day, one of the men is dragged out of the cave. The escaped man sees the real world and has his whole world changed. He returns to the cave, unable to convince his former co-habitants of his discovery.


Within our culture we have narrative forms. Stories that a society will tell itself, about itself to create a sense of identity.


What one must consider is whether disruptions in a common narrative constitute a new narrative or forms a sub-narrative that is derived from the undisrupted form. Is a disruption an evolution of an idea or merely a new lense through which one may change their perception of a narrative?


One could say that a disrupted narrative is dependent on preconceived narratives in order to exist, otherwise there would be nothing to disrupt. Therefore, disruptions mutate pre existing narratives but do not necessarily generate a wholly new narrative in the process.


On the other hand, a disruption in our narratives, a subversion of tropes or stereotypes, changes the way that we view the world. Perhaps the common narrative is a shield, like shadows on the wall, and it takes a disruption not to change the lense through which we see a narrative, but to reach the possible truth of our world. Not in the stories we tell ourselves but in the stories that are truly lived.

A disruption in narrative can be contradictory, both clarifying and complicating the world surrounding us. Clarifying the true nature of the world we live in, but also bringing light to the previously unnoticed nuance that inhabits ever story. If we are to be productive and thoughtful, we ought to be willing to encounter and even seek out disruptions from our preconceptions, even if it means we must be unchained.


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