On April 24, the architecture department and the interdisciplinary general education department will partner up to screen “Chasing Ice” in the University Theatre.
This documentary follows National Geographic photographer James Balog as he explores the controversial issue of climate change.
According to Kenneth Stahl, a lecturer from the IGE department, Josefine Fabricius and Kathleen Gillette are the “driving forces” behind this upcoming event.
Fabricius and Gillette, both architecture students and also recent graduates of the IGE program, were first introduced to this screening during an IGE course taught by CPP professor Stephen Rudicel.
“The class was called Technology and Human Purpose, and it was an introduction to environmental studies and the literature of environmentalism,” said Rudicel. “Often times in that class, I tried to show students artistic responses to any social or technical problems that we may be examining in the class.”
The timely topic of climate change is one reason Rudicel was first drawn to the 2012 documentary.
“I read about the movie [‘Chasing Ice’] and was really intrigued by it,” said Rudicel. “I think climate change is coming faster and harder than we may expect it to, and it is a human-made problem.”
He said that the younger generations are going to be the most impacted by such changes.
“Your generation is going to have to rise to the occasion – creatively, socially and communally,” said Rudicel. “In this class, I tried to get students to think about ways to be creative about problem-solving.”
Students such as Gillette were affected by Rudicel’s words, and believed the film would help promote some problem-solving.
“After watching the trailer in class, we got really interested in the movie and went to go see it.,” said Gillette. “Later, when we started thinking about screening the movie, the first place we went to was the IGE Department.”
The pupils also invited the Architecture department to join in an effort to extend its reach and unite the two communities.
“One of the things we learned in IGE is that everything is interconnected.” said Gillette. “In one particular quarter of IGE we were learning a lot about the environment and how humans interact with it. In addition, IGE is heavily art-oriented, so this [film is] an example of combining an art form – because the man in the documentary is a photographer – with investigating the implications of human interaction with the environment.”
Fabricius describes the film as a “visually stunning” documentary, with an extremely powerful message as well.
Viewing of the documentary is open to everyone, and Fabricius said students of all majors should begin to pay attention to the environment.
“Even the business major should learn to run his or her business in a sustainably responsible way,” said Fabricius.
Gillette said the film was not depressing, but more inspiring instead.
“We learned to become more open-minded,” said Gillette. “We learned to take in the facts, and then make informed decisions.”
As for their take on such a controversial issue, both students shared similar perspectives.
“I believe that climate change is occurring, and I do believe that there is some human factor involved, but I also think that the climate does go through natural cycles as well,” said Gillette. “I am not ready to lay the blame entirely at the feet of humans and our industry, but I do think we are causing some of these issues.”
Gillette agreed, and hopes the screening will persuade others to make a change and become more environmentally friendly.
“We were so inspired by it, and we really wanted to spread the message and hopefully inspire other people,” said Gillette.
After the screening, a Skype question and answer session will take place with Adam LeWinter, who was a member of the photography crew on “Chasing Ice.”
Fabricius and Gillette have put in hours of work into the planning of this event.
“There were a lot of phone calls, emails, and meetings,” said Fabricius. “But anyone with motivation can do it.”