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Environmental installations are a highlight of the 2024 ReFrame Film Festival

January 25th, 2024

Rowan Irwin of the Kawartha Pine Ridge School Board's Youth Leadership in Sustainability class and her quote for "Imagine. The City We Want", a video installation accessible using QR codes at the GreenUP Store, Artspace, Peterborough Public Library, Market Hall, Showplace, and the Art Gallery of Peterborough as part of the 2024 ReFrame Film Festival running from January 25 to February 4, 2024. Students in the class were asked to envision the results of climate action in the City of Peterborough two decades from now. (Photo: Cam Douglas / Youth Leadership in Sustainability)

Rowan Irwin of the Kawartha Pine Ridge School Board’s Youth Leadership in Sustainability class and her quote for “Imagine. The City We Want”, a video installation accessible using QR codes at the GreenUP Store, Artspace, Peterborough Public Library, Market Hall, Showplace, and the Art Gallery of Peterborough as part of the 2024 ReFrame Film Festival running from January 25 to February 4, 2024. Students in the class were asked to envision the results of climate action in the City of Peterborough two decades from now. (Photo: Cam Douglas / Youth Leadership in Sustainability)

By: Eryn Lidster, ReFrame, with editing support from Lili Paradi, GreenUP

ReFrame’s 20th anniversary festival is just around the corner! The hybrid social and environmental justice documentary film festival includes an abundance of ecologically focused programming, both on and off screen. Don’t miss your chance to catch a talk, in person or online, with guests in attendance at the festival including Melanie La Rosa, director of How to Power a City; Chen Sing Yap and Rowan Mikolic-O’Rourke, director and animator of Feeling the Apocalypse.

There’s more to experience outside the theatre including Imagine. The city we want, installed in six locations around downtown Nogojiwanong/Peterborough. Students from Kawartha Pine Ridge’s Youth Leadership in Sustainability (YLS) have created eleven video vignettes accessible by QR code at the GreenUP Store, Artspace, the Peterborough Public Library, Market Hall, Showplace and the Art Gallery of Peterborough.

In connection with Nogojiwanong/Peterborough’s current Climate Action Plan update, the YLS class has created this series which envisions the fabulous city they live in – in 2044. Encounter these acts of civic imagination and see how 20 years of ambitious and creative action by the City, initiated by the progressive Plan of 2024, has created an attractive and livable city that has embraced climate justice.

“Much of our messaging around the climate crisis is understandably negative – fear, anger, and blame. The class has spun the messaging around here – they instead chose a positive message focused on quality of life benefits arising from ambitious climate action,” says Cam Douglas, teacher of the Youth Leadership in Sustainability program. “They’ve set their videos in 2044, and have invited us all to find and follow pathways that lead us to this beautiful future. It’s often easier to move forward if you know where you’re headed.”

The Youth Leadership in Sustainability class pose for the debut of “Imagine. The City We Want”, a video installation project submitted for the ReFrame Film Festival running from January 25 to February 4, 2024. The public can access their video snippets via QR codes at the GreenUP Store, Artspace, Peterborough Public Library, Market Hall, Showplace and the Art Gallery of Peterborough. (Photo courtesy of Cam Douglas / Youth Leadership in Sustainability)

The Youth Leadership in Sustainability class pose for the debut of “Imagine. The City We Want”, a video installation project submitted for the ReFrame Film Festival running from January 25 to February 4, 2024. The public can access their video snippets via QR codes at the GreenUP Store, Artspace, Peterborough Public Library, Market Hall, Showplace and the Art Gallery of Peterborough. (Photo courtesy of Cam Douglas / Youth Leadership in Sustainability)

Be sure to experience Underlying by Laurel Paluck, a part of the Through Lines exhibition at Artspace. Featuring a multimedia whale sculpture created from salvaged plastic, Underlying is an exploration of the emotions we experience as we contemplate the concept and realities of climate change. The installation invites visitors to sit or lay by the whale, listen to their song and to take a gentle moment to interpret the feelings that emerge.

Paluck describes the history of Underlying, an installation that was born out of projects created alongside the community. Working with students in Nogojiwanong/Peterborough and in Mexico, Paluck began creating by exploring plastics, their history and their utility.

“Plastic is a material that I cling to. It is found in abundance in the community,” Paluck says. “It was interesting to ask a group of 10 year-olds about what they think the future of plastics is.”

Paluck’s work invites reflection on this and other prescient questions we face as individuals and communities. “Leaving space for ambiguity is so important for art, to leave people to fill in the spaces themselves when they see the whale. For me, [whales] come to represent so many things. What I hope will come out of this is for us to hear ourselves. If we hear ourselves say ‘Oh, it’s hopeless,’ – that is important to reflect on, too. It’s also important that we know that we are nature.”

Underlying is installed in Gallery 2 at Artspace, where you are welcome to write down your thoughts, or share them during two drop-in recording sessions, Jan 26 & 27 11-3:30PM.

Featuring a whale made of salvaged plastic along with wire, LED lights, a rug, throw cushions, seating, and a digital audio collage, Laurel Paluck’s “Underlying” exhibition is installed in Gallery 2 at Artspace, where you are welcome to write down your thoughts or share them during two drop-in recording sessions from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on January 26 and 27, 2024. (Photo: Laurel Paluck)

Featuring a whale made of salvaged plastic along with wire, LED lights, a rug, throw cushions, seating, and a digital audio collage, Laurel Paluck’s “Underlying” exhibition is installed in Gallery 2 at Artspace, where you are welcome to write down your thoughts or share them during two drop-in recording sessions from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on January 26 and 27, 2024. (Photo: Laurel Paluck)

This is a perfect space to rest and reflect during the festival and consider films like Plastic Fantastic, which follows several people who deal with the disposal of plastic, as well as its production, and Deep Rising, which exposes the destructive machinations of an organization empowered to extract massive amounts of metals from the deep seafloor. It all begins with Boil Alert, which illuminates the human dimension of the water crisis in Indigenous communities, on Thursday, January 25 at 7PM at Showplace with a Q&A featuring artist and activist Layla Staats, the subject of this opening night feature.

Celebrate 20 years of ReFrame! In-Person, Hybrid and Virtual Festival Passes are available now. Individual tickets for virtual screenings are available now through ReFrame’s website. Individual tickets for in-person screenings will be available at festival venues on a “rush” basis 15 minutes in advance of each scheduled screening from January 25-28. Get your pass today at reframefilmfestival.ca/festival/passes-tickets/

For more information visit reframefilmfestival.ca/festival/

Posted in Climate Action