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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 Alexis Lanza at 6:19PM
Equilibrium Symbol

Blog posting by Alexis Lanza, Film Photography, and Visual Arts '15, FLEFF Blogger, Enfield, CT 

When I joined the FLEFF 2014 Blogging Team, I researched this year's theme: Dissonance. Many definitions I unearthed were negative, with heavy, slightly frightening connotations dangling from them.

“Dissonance sparks and ignites.”

FLEFF's definitions uses words like “tension,” “imbalance,” and “disharmony,” but it's this sentence that caught my attention. Rather than associating dissonance as an uncomfortable thing we'd rather avoid, we must embrace it. These kinds of situations, in which we might experience feelings of dissonance, are the situations which force us to grow.

Chenruo Zhang, FLEFF Assistant to the Codirectors, described dissonance in a similar way FLEFF does. “But that doesn't mean it's a bad thing or negativity. I think dissonance encourages us to break the rules which are out of date, and let us be flexible and creative.”

Chenruo is looking forward to the opportunities this year's FLEFF theme will bring. She experiences dissonance being an international student here at Ithaca College, but rather than feel overwhelmed, Chenruo finds delight in it. “I enjoy absorbing American culture since it's my studying aboard, and I don't want to be crowded by Chinese students as I had always been like that in my country. Vice versa, I'm bringing Asian culture to here as well.”

Dissonance is about a lack of balance within oneself. Everything in the world is searching for an equilibrium, and we strive for that in our personal lives as well, even if we may not always realize it. We are more closely related to the environment than we often acknowledge, and for a human to copy tactics from the natural world around us makes perfect sense.

Oftentimes, we are placed in situations that are beyond our control, but we can choose what we take away from these experiences. In high school, my U.S. History teacher read this quote to us from Eleanor Roosevelt: “Do one thing every day that scares you.” I remember thinking to my 16- year- old self that Eleanor Roosevelt must have been a strong, brave woman to feel that way about the world.

What have you done lately that has made you grow?


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