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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 10:39PM

As FLEFF week has taken hold, I have returned to one of the original questions that I asked Professor Norm Johnson back in February in what feels so long ago.


When there is a piece of art that causes disruption, is it inevitable that such work will eventually become adopted into the mainstream and no longer be disruptive, or is there some art that will always disrupt what we perceive as the status quo.


At the FLEFF research forum, Dr.Crystal Peebles cited Kendrick Lamar’s rap album Damn as a sign of disruption as it was the first rap album to win the Pulitzer Prize.


Is this disruption?

Rap has existed in some form since the late 1960s. Rap has been in the cultural mainstream for decades. There’s even catagory at the Grammy’s specifically for Rap now.


Is this disruption?


Or has rap, a once very disruptive artform now entered the cultural mainstream and its being recognized by an institution only an eventuality?

Maybe the goal of disruption ought not to be one of stasis.


Disruption can also mean a break in the status quo that establishes new norms and expectations.


On the same research forum as Dr.Peebles was Professor Maria Yepes.


Professor Yepes discussed how in the media industry, five percent of audio professionals are women. One of those women had been Esther Gabriel. Gabriel had been one of the earliest music producers, risen to the level of Vice-President at RCA and had a hand in signing Frank Sinatra. Her story had gone virtually untold until the documentary Yepes had worked on contacted her in her twilight years.


This disruption, one that highlights the contributions of women, who while underrepresented in the field of audio have still made essential and lasting effects on the industry is necessary for positive change.


One would hope that in the future, the contributions of a woman in this field would no longer be a disruption.


So as FLEFF continues, it may be worthwhile to consider the meaning of disruptions and their implications.


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