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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 Kathryn Beaule at 6:40PM

Blog posting by Katie Beaule, Communication Management and Design '16, FLEFF Blogger, Windsor, CT


We all have places that we can call home; places that we are familiar with. Unbeknownst to many, our ‘homes’ are actually our personal habitats. They shape us as people and give us a unique understanding of the world. But are there better ways in which we can interact with these habitats? New ways in which we can engage with them, protect them, or enhance them?


In his book The One Contemporary Collaborative Art and the Many in a Global Context, Grant H. Kester talks about two art projects that reimagine the current habitats in which they reside. In Park Fiction, activists in Hamburg, Germany constructed a whimsical park in the midst of the city’s plans for urbanization. Then, in Texas, local artists enhanced the dilapidating houses in Houston’s Third Ward in order to save the community from gentrification.


“In the case of both Park Fiction and the Project Row Houses we can observe a process of sovereign expression, a claiming of space and collective identity, that is by necessity defensive (each community faces the possibility of removal or displacement) but that nonetheless seeks to preserve internal differentiation and diversity” (Kester, 2011).  


There are many key phrases within this quote that apply to habitats. The first is that habitats are places of “space and collective identity”. Whether the inhabitants are humans, plants, or organisms, they all share the goal of surviving in that habitat and learning how to benefit from its internal dynamics.


Also within a habitat is the possibility of “removal” or “displacement”. The FLEFF website says that, “as competing organisms and species vie for niches, a habitat’s appearance of coherence can be illusory, disguising violence”. As global citizens, we must be aware of the brutal and savage environments that many may be subjected to.  


We must celebrate the “internal differentiation and diversity” of each habitat as well as be cautious of it. It is our duty to learn about both the unifying and the divorcing effects of this world’s habitats.


Last week, Ithaca College's Assistant Provost, Dr. Tanya Saunders, came to speak with the FLEFF bloggers about FLEFF and its role in the local and global community. In her discussion with us, Dr. Saunders explained that FLEFF urges people to get out of their silos and to engage with one another. Thus, through FLEFF 2015, we will leave our familiar habitats and entire into the unique environments of those both nearby and across the globe.  


Which habitat were most surprised to learn about at previous FLEFFs?

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