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Film Screening: Losing Ground

Climate Change in Central Asia Film Screening and Discussion with Bradley Rappa, Ithaca College

Thursday, January 26, 2017
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Charles E. Young Research Library Presentation Room

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Film Synopsis
"Losing Ground" documents how climate change, overgrazing, and the destructive mining processes that are currently being used in Mongolia are dramatically changing the traditional pastoral lifestyles of the many rural Mongolian families who depend on healthy and biologically diverse ecosystems for their survival.

Director’s Statement
Over the last few years I have been traveling throughout Mongolia to observe and document the daily activities of the rural, pastoral families who have been raising livestock and living off the land for generations. My goal is to illustrate how, in a few short decades, the Mongolian lifestyle has undergone rapid and profound changes. In addition to converting to a democratic, multi-party system and a liberal market economy, Mongolia is also currently entering a mining boom that is generating additional economic growth for some urban Mongolians. Yet, at the same time, many rural Mongolians find themselves struggling to survive. Harsh winters, dwindling herds, and habitat loss due to destructive mining practices and over grazing are forcing many families to abandon the countryside in order to try to find work in the larger towns and cities. In short, climate change, and the detrimental impacts of global industrialization are adversely affecting the traditionally sustainable lifestyles of these rural Mongolians. Losing Ground supports my hypothesis that humans need to retain a close connection to the land and their environment in order to maintain a sustainable social, economic, and environmental way of life.

Director’s Bio
Bradley Rappa, an Assistant Professor in the Cinema, Photography and Media Arts program at Ithaca College, is an award winning animator, documentarian and experimental filmmaker whose films have screened worldwide. Currently, Bradley produces documentary films that focus primarily on human rights and environmental issues. He studied at Syracuse University and after receiving his M.F.A. in filmmaking, moved to New York City where he worked for over 10 years as a cinematographer. In 2002 he was hired by the University of Arizona’s College of Public Health, where he developed, implemented and taught a progressive media literacy and production curriculum designed to empower the Native American youth who lived in the greater Tucson area. This transformative opportunity rekindled Bradley’s love for teaching and reinforced his principles that creativity and a passion for discovery are crucial components of producing thought provoking and impactful documentary films. His most recent work tackles the critically important issues of global consumer culture, industrialization, and the challenges we all face as we try to live locally, sustainably, and in harmony, within our communities and our natural environment. Bradley lives in Ithaca, New York with his wife and two sons.


Sponsor(s): Program on Central Asia, Anthropology, Geography