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The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Blog posting by Kimberly Capehart, Documentary Studies and Production '16, FLEFF Blogger, Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Environments that are constantly shifting, changing, and adapting in response to stimuli.
However, HABITATS are so much more than what the environmental context of the word would lead one to believe. For me, I see HABITATS as landscapes of discourse.
In her book, Landscapes of Power: From Detroit to Disney World, author Sharon Zukin defines the term landscape in an interesting way. She writes, "Landscape…stretches the imagination. Not only does it denote the usual geographical meaning of 'physical surroundings,' but it also refers to an ensemble of material and social practices and their symbolic representation."
If we apply Zukin's definition of "landscape" to my interpretation of HABITATS as landscapes of discourse, then we can understand HABITATS as any collection of various thoughts, writings, exchanges, and dialogues. These landscapes, as well as the discourses that occur within them, are fundamentally shaped and informed by geopolitical, social, and historical factors that are highly dependent on their place or location.
Landscapes, and therefore HABITATS, are constantly "evolving from internal dynamics and external challenges," to quote part of the FLEFF definition.
In this sense, FLEFF is a HABITAT all its own: tying together aspects of both its local and global place and facilitating discussions, conversations, and countless exchanges within its own unique landscape.
The key to sustaining this unique environment and collection of discourses is heterogeneity. Heterogeneity means that the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival shows films, but also puts on live music performances, showcases new media, and organizes both lectures and informal workshops. This diversity of content and multiplicity of voices is what constitutes the richness of FLEFF.
Whether it is at Ithaca College, downtown at Cinemapolis, or even at the FLEFF after parties, FLEFF is a HABITAT that constitutes a landscape of discourses. This sharing, discussion, and debate of ideas encourages the participation of all in the HABITAT and ultimately contributes to a more global and diverse understanding of the world.
What does HABITATS mean to you?