Reconnecting With Hope
- Maddie Hewitt
- School of Arts & Sciences
- Independent Creative Production Grant
Representing a diverse community, “Reconnecting With Hope” is a documentary short film about people who re-connect to the natural world through the act of birding and by doing so discover a profound sense of belonging, joy, and hope. Birding is the observation of avian life in their natural habitats, which can be done alone, in groups, outdoors, indoors, in rural areas and in urban environments. While birding is a recreational activity and a form of community science, it is also a form of therapy and meditation. The film will evoke this meditative quality in viewers while placing emphasis on the relationship-building aspect of the activity, particularly for those who haven’t always seen themselves included within birding and natural sciences. Centered are the stories of BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ people along with their allies, who together make use of their life circumstances to serve the greater good by breaking down barriers for others to experience the wonder of birding. Featured are those who attend birding meetups in Philadelphia and nearby Suburban neighborhoods, the community organizers responsible for these meetup groups such as In Color Birding Club and Philly Queer Birders, as well as other environmental educators and conservationists. Despite coming from different backgrounds, the people starring in this film share a common experience with birds that continues to inspire, comfort, awaken delight, and strengthen their relationship with each other and ultimately, with the world we live in.