Sarah Cortes: Activism as a Commodity

Abstract 

            This paper will be focusing on how activism has become a commodity in our current society through the increasing accessibility of social networking websites. Facebook is a large contributor, and the main focus in this paper, to the expansion and awareness of pages dedicated to organizations and their causes. While these pages will initially bring success, which is recorded by the number of page “likes” or “follows” they garner, this will eventually lead to a flat-line and, in some cases, a decrease in interest. This paper theorizes that this flat-lining occurs due to activism being treated as a fad. For our current society, and the younger generations that inhabit it, being “active” with a specific group that has become increasingly popular through social media can be viewed as a cool trend that is publicly viewable through your profile page and other purchased accessories. However, once the newness and coolness of this organization begins to taper off people drop off from that following to start liking the newest and most socially relevant organization. Through previous research this paper will show that activism is becoming continually harder to maintain interest and a driving force with the advent of Facebook and other social networking sites.

 

Read More

Natalie Grillo: See, Hear, Feel, Film

2nd Place: Community Project       

    This being my second semester at See Hear Feel Film, I did not think I was going to learn anything new. I could not have been more wrong about this. I was dealing with a completely different group of students, viewing entirely different films, and creating storyboards as opposed to inner dialogue. What I first noticed was that telling stories created a lot more conflict between the students. Collaboration has always been one of the most important aspects of this program, and I definitely saw it this semester. Some groups worked very well together. Others became very angry at the fact that they could not tell the entire story. As we learned in class, story telling is performance for children and this can be a very sensitive issue. As Dyson noted in their article, stories are also used for students to “engage in complex social relations, make new friends, and develop and maintain social circles.” The groups are randomly chosen, so I like to think that after this program maybe the students have made new friends through this experience. One time I had a boy who said that he really liked the other groups’ stories. Maybe back at school some of the students got together to use their journals to come together and create more stories.

Read More

Nick Paraskevas: Bustling and Barren: The Importance of Filmic Landscapes in Paris and Beau Travail

        The art of filmmaking requires numerous important aspects to tell a story; actors, directors, a worthy script, interesting characters; the list goes on. One of the most important aspects, though, is a film’s geographical setting, its filmic landscape. The setting, while mostly playing a backseat to the actions and interactions of a film’s characters, actually plays just as important a role in shaping the film’s overall feeling, mood and tone. It can become a character itself, representing visually the emotions and sentiments of the characters it occupies. The geographical settings of the films Paris and Beau travail are reminiscent of this fact as both filmic landscapes play vital roles in illustrating not only the overall mood of each film, but also the mood of each film’s characters. Paris’s setting encompasses a large portion of the city, illuminating both monuments and marketplaces, while Beau travail’s setting encompasses the dry, barren landscape of Djibouti, Africa. Despite the heavy contrast between these two landscapes, both work to illustrate the emotions of the characters that inhabit and exist within them. By mirroring the character’s emotions and underlying tone of the film, the filmic landscape becomes itself a character, one which requires as much attention as its filmic inhabitants. The filmic landscapes of Paris and Beau travail, though seemingly contrasting, both capture the emotional isolation of the film’s characters.

Read More