On August 14, 2020, we spoke with Beth Ann Kennedy, artistic/managing director of the Bozeman Film Celebration, about how she came to create the BZN International Film Festival, whose first season was in June of 2018. Her training in speech, music, dance and the dramatic arts, from the early 1970s, as well as her decades of experience acting, directing and producing in theater and film, contributed to her success in bringing to Bozeman what has become an annual Film Festival. Her excellent interpersonal skills and work with business and international government leaders, educators, entertainment celebrities, musicians, choreographers and thousands of American youths, prepared her for the gargantuan effort of coordinating the many people and jobs required in bringing a film festival into reality. After only its second year, the BZN International Film Festival was listed by Film Freeway among the top 100 festivals in the world. We asked her about her experiences, challenges, and goals over the past three years, and about re-creating the festival during a pandemic. Our conversation in a garden includes commentary from the neighborhood birds and dogs.
Members of the 2019 BZN International Film Festival Staff
Some of the 2020 BZN International Film Festival Staff, dutifully socially distancing. Beth Ann Kennedy in white top at center.
Margaret Klein Salamon is the founder and Executive Director of The Climate Mobilization, a volunteer-powered organization that is working to initiate a WWII-scale mobilization to rapidly transform our economy to protect humanity and the living world. In that role she has helped catalyze a burgeoning worldwide climate emergency movement. More than 1,500 cities and counties around the world have now passed climate emergency declarations based on the climate emergency policy framework that The Climate Mobilization has developed and championed.
Margaret has doctorate in clinical psychology and a BA in social anthropology. She is the author of The Transformative Power of Climate Truth and Leading the Public into Emergency Mode. Her latest book, Facing the Climate Emergency: How to Transform Yourself with Climate Truth, has just been published by New Society Publishers.
Gaia Vince is an environmental journalist, author and broadcaster. Her work focuses largely on the interplay between humans and the planetary environment. Her latest book, TRANSCENDENCE: How Humans Evolved Through Fire, Language, Beauty & Time, was published in the United States in January, 2020 by Basic Books.
Her first book, Adventures in the Anthropocene: A Journey to the Heart of the Planet We Made, won the 2015 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books, making her the first woman to win the prize outright. That book discussed the Anthropocene, the geological epoch that began when human activities started to have a significant global impact on Earth’s ecosystems.
She has held senior editorial posts at Nature and New Scientist, and her writing has featured in newspapers and magazines including the Guardian, The Times and Scientific American. She also writes and presents science programs for radio and television. Her research takes her across the world: she has visited more than 60 countries. She currently lives in London, where we spoke with her via Skype.
In addition to fire and language, Gaia Vince asserts that beauty was a powerful force in human evolution. She cites artifacts such as the “Lion Man”, the oldest known zoomorphic sculpture and uncontested example of figurative art, between 35,000 and 40,000 years old. It was carved of mammoth ivory using a flint knife and stands 31.1cm tall, 5.6cm wide and 5.9cm thick.
In her book, American Zion: Cliven Bundy, God & Public Lands in the West, just out from Torrey House Press, Dr. Betsy Gaines Quammen, PhD, documents the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and how their beliefs led to Cliven Bundy’s scoff-law actions, including decades of grazing his cattle on public lands without legal permits and refusing to pay over $1million in fines and fees, leading to armed followers in tense stand-offs with federal employees in Nevada and Oregon.
After environmental laws such as The Endangered Species Act, The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and The Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) required the federal government to assess public lands and protect endangered species such as the Desert Tortoise, individuals such as The Bundys and groups such as The Sagebrush Rebellion and the so-called Wise Use Movement arose to defy federal protections encroaching on what they considered their traditional way of life.
[Cliven Bundy and an endangered Desert Tortoise (Reuters/Jim Urquhart/AP)]
This led to armed confrontations at the “Battle of Bunkerville” and “The Siege of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.”
Mormon prophecy contributes to the sense of religious righteousness and destiny, which motivate some to claim uniquely superior interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, considered to be a divinely inspired sacred text.
[From left to right: Cliven Bundy, Ryan Bundy and Ammon Bundy.]
We end the program with a brief discussion of the unfolding Covid-19 Pandemic, the anti-science response of the Bundy network, and the work of Betsy’s husband, David Quammen, who in his book, Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic(2012) predicted it was only a matter of time til a pandemic like this would occur.
Finally, Dan Roberts reads his poem from 2006, “Helter Shelter.”
Past Forthright Radio programs referenced in this show include:
The United States military has been aware of the escalating dangers of catastrophic climate disruption longer than most other branches of government. In spite of Donald Trump’s quick rescinding of Barack Obama’s Executive Order 13653, issued in 2013, “Preparing the US for the Impact of Climate Change,” the military has quietly continued to do just that.
In his latest meticulously researched book, All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon’s Perspective on Climate Change, the Five College Professor Emeritus of Peace and World Security Studies at Hampshire College and senior visitiing fellow at the Arms Control Association, Michael T. Klare, shows that the US military considers climate change a danger on several fronts at once.
With charts and maps he demonstrates that globally and nationally, we are vulnerable to increasing disruptions from climate change:
A map identifying military bases that have reported problems from heavy flooding, extreme temperatures, prolonged drought, and other climate impacts. (from All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon’s Perspective on Climate Change Metropolitan Books)
Increasing water scarcity as the river systems sourced in the glaciers of the Himalayan watershed is a major concern affecting nuclear armed nations China, India and Pakistan. (from All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon’s Perspective on Climate Change Metropolitan Books)
As the Arctic sea ice disappears the geopolitics of the region are in flux as never before in human history with potential of conflict among major powers such as Russia, China and the US. ((from All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon’s Perspective on Climate Change Metropolitan Books)
On this edition of Ecotones, we hear from local Bozemanites, Dr. Mary M. Clare, Ph.D. and author, Gary Ferguson, about their work in evolving the concept of Full Ecology. How regaining our sense of kinship, relationship and interconnection, and being guided by balance, rhythm and harmony, we can survive and thrive the disruptions of our personal embedded environments, and the greater environments of which we are a natural part. Gary is The author of 26 books, the latest of which is THE EIGHT MASTER LESSONS OF NATURE: WHAT NATURE TEACHES US ABOUT LIVING WELL IN THE WORLD, published by Dutton.
Les AuCoin represented Oregon’s 1st Congressional District from 1975 to 1992. At the age of 32, he was the first Democrat to do so since 1936. After serving 18 years, he gave up his seat to run for the US Senate against incumbent Republican Senator Bob Packwood, who although winning that race, resigned under threat of expulsion in 1995 after allegations of sexual harassment, abuse and assault of women emerged.
In this interview he shares his thoughts and experiences as one of the first cohort to be seated after Richard Nixon’s resignation under threat of impeachment in 1974, “The Watergate Babies.”
It was recorded on December 18,1019, as the US House of Representatives was impeaching Donald J. Trump .
Christopher Ketcham has been a freelance writer for more than 20 years. His articles have been published in Harper’s, CounterPunch, National Geographic, Hustler, Penthouse, the New York Times, Pacific Standard, Sierra, Earth Island Journal, Vanity Fair, The New Republic, Rolling Stone, Mother Jones, Salon, and many other websites and newspapers large and small. He was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT in 2015-16, and he is currently a MacDowell Colony writing fellow in New Hampshire, whence he spoke to us. THIS LAND: HOW COWBOYS, CAPITALISM, AND CORRUPTION ARE RUINING THE AMERICAN WEST, published by Viking, is his first book.
THIS LAND: HOW COWBOYS, CAPITALISM, AND CORRUPTION ARE RUINING THE AMERICAN WEST is a hard hitting look at the battle now raging over the fate of the public lands in the American West.
An area of ancient pinyon and juniper forests larger than the state of Vermont, adapted over eons to the arid lands of the west, is being destroyed by machines such as these – turned into mulch for the planting of seeds of invasive species for forage for the most destructive invasive specie, Bos taurus, cows.
University of Notre Dame History professor, Darren Dochuk is the author of From Bible Belt to Sunbelt: Plainfolk religion, Grassroots Politics, and the Rise of Evangelical Conservatism, which has received numerous prizes and awards. He has also co-edited several other books in American history, including most recently, The Routledge History of the Twentieth-Century United States. His most recent book is ANOINTED WITH OIL: HOW CHRISTIANITY AND CRUDE MADE MODERN AMERICA, published by Basic Books.
“Power is never so overwhelming that there’s no room for resistance.” Henry Giroux
In this interview with Professor Henry Giroux, we discuss his latest book, THE TERROR OF THE UNFORESEEN, published by LARB Provocations, from The Los Angeles Review of Books. Just the latest of over 65 books he has written.
Henry Giroux is the McMaster University Chair for Scholarship in the Public Interest & The Paulo Freire Distinguished Scholar in Critical Pedagogy at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada. The Toronto Star has named him one of the 12 Canadians Changing the Way We Think. He has also been named in Routledge’s Key Guides as one of the top fifty educational thinkers of the modern period. He is on the editorial and advisory boards of numerous national and international scholarly journals. He is on the Board of Directors for Truthout.
Henry Giroux is a regular contributor to a number of online journals including Truthout, Truthdig, and CounterPunch. He has published in journals including Social Text, Third Text, Cultural Studies, Harvard Educational Review, Theory, Culture, & Society, and Monthly Review.
His primary research areas are: cultural studies, youth studies, critical pedagogy, popular culture, media studies, social theory, and the politics of higher and public education. He is particularly interested in what he calls the war on youth, the corporatization of higher education, the politics of neoliberalism, the assault on civic literacy and the collapse of public memory, public pedagogy, the educative nature of politics, and the rise of various youth movements across the globe.