EHTV Episode 13 – Fire Season

The 2011 Place and Placelessness Virtual Graduate Conference featured a short film competition. EHTV is proud to present the three films submitted to the contest as a special series. The third film in this series is by Sinead Earley from Queen’s University and Patrick Earley from Langara College. They describe their film as follows:

“The largest wildfire in Alberta’s recorded history, known as the Bitumount Complex, has burnt over 750,000 hectares in the Waterways region of the province, north of Fort McMurray. Ground and aerial footage recorded from the frontlines and from helicopter provide a very immediate and visceral experience of the conflagration, captured by Patrick Earley, a member of a privately contracted fire crew. The absence of narration and social commentary in the film is an intentional choice, attempting to highlight the sounds and movements of fire and smoke as they consume and transform the landscapes they move through. Interpretation and discussion will be left to the workshop participants. The only voices presented in the film will be by way of radio dispatches and crewmembers as they work.

Fire season confronts provincial ministries, industries and communities across Canada annually, without relent. The film hopes to provoke thoughts on natural resource use, management and protection under the broader context of climate and environmental change.”

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Sean Kheraj is an associate professor in the Department of History at York University. He researches and teaches in the areas of environmental and Canadian history. In addition to being a co-editor of niche-canada.org, he is also the host and producer of Nature's Past, NiCHE's audio podcast series and he blogs at http://seankheraj.com.

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