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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 Rachael Lewis-Krisky at 11:06PM   |  3 comments
Ira McKinley

The Throwaways by Ira McKinley brought to light an often-ignored issue in the United States: mass incarceration.

As a black man and ex-felon, McKinley has a deeply personal relationship to the issues that come with mass incarceration, all of which he raised in the documentary, such as food deserts, over policing and violence, the degradation of inner city schools, abandoned neighborhoods, and lack of access to health care.

The systematic attacks on communities of color need major counter actions. In the personal, reflexive and revealing documentary McKinley encourages viewers to take charge of their communities to stop the extreme injustices at hand.

“I don’t want to shoot people with a gun. I want to shoot people with my camera,” McKinley said. He has made it his mission to change the system plaguing his friends, family and fellow citizens.

These people are not just McKinley’s allies  – they are ours too. A problem for a fellow citizen is a problem for me. Stop mass incarceration and join the fight. Truly, the burden belongs to us all. 


I really appreciate your insight about the role of an ally, Rachael. Responsibility is often shrugged by a lack of personal connection to an issue, its invisibility in our own daily lives. Though the Throwaways showed massive lines between white and black awareness of these problems, it's important to look out for our neighbors and fellow citizens no matter what situation they are in.

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