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Free Range Child: Raising Children Connected To The Earth & Their Food

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"As a child, one has that magical capacity to move among the many eras of the earth; to see the land as an animal does; to experience the sky from the perspective of a flower or a bee; to feel the earth quiver and breathe beneath us; to know a hundred different smells of mud and listen unself- consciously to the soughing of the trees." -Valerie Andrews

Over Grow the SystemFilms For Action present Free Range Child: A documentary and media project that examines the connection between a child's development and her or his connection to the natural world and to food production.  It celebrates the lives of families and their support networks, both rural and urban, who are engaged in linking children with nature, and savours the bounty of precious moments of discovery, magic and growth that spring forth from these connections.

Partnering with children, parents, farmers, and professionals, we seek to better understand the contemporary circumstances that create alienation between children and the natural environment and the effects of this disconnect on their development.  Conversely we'll also examine the discourse and examples surrounding the raising of our children with access and engagement to natural and agricultural environments and how they are affected. We hope to learn how technology interacts or interferes with these connections and most significantly, what children, themselves, can teach us about the natural world and their place in it.

"Our Children no longer learn how to read the great book of Nature from their own direct experience, or how to interact creatively with the seasonal transformations of the planet. They seldom learn where their water come from or where it goes. We no longer coordinate our human celebration with the great liturgy of the heavens." -Wendell Berry

Syd Woodward is a west-coast based artist, specializing in media production and curation. He is also a photographer, filmmaker, and blogger and the founder of Over Grow the System, an online nexus for sustainability activism . His work is committed to deepening our relationships with and roles in building a greener future.  Free Range Child is inspired by the wild and young people he picks blueberries with, and by those small ones he wanders through the trees with.  As part of an on-going exploration of contemporary agricultural and remote communities, the time spent with children in these places fuels and renews Syd's hope for the future and it is his goal to galvanize that hopeful spirit in the rest of us.

With Over Grow They System as his platform, Syd will dive into this topic through film, photography and text, with the aim of producing a feature film by 2016.


If you are interested in helping this project grow, please consider making a donation here.
 

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Films For Action is a community-powered, digital library for people who want to change the world.

 

Our mission is to provide citizens with the knowledge and perspectives essential to creating a more beautiful, just, sustainable, and democratic society.

Films For Action was founded in 2006 by a few friends in Lawrence, Kansas, after realizing how essential a healthy media is to a healthy democracy.

Although we started out hosting community film screenings in the beginning and did so for many years, our digital library eventually became our primary focus. 

Today, with the help of our members (who can add content directly to our site), we've curated over 5,000 of the best documentaries, short films, and videos that can be watched for free online plus several dozen pay-per-view documentaries, sorted into 34 subjects related to changing the world.

And, since there's still so much to learn about that isn't featured in a film, we've also curated 4,000 articles.

To dive in, click the Explore button to sort content by most viewedtop-rated, or newest first, as well as filter content by languagecountry, content type, and 34 topics such as foodsustainabilityeconomicssolutions or big ideas.

 

“Independent media is dangerous because it allows people to speak for themselves. And when you hear someone speaking from their own experience - whether it's a Palestinian child or an Israeli grandmother or an uncle in Afghanistan or a refugee in the Calais refugee camp - it changes you. It breaks the sound barrier. It challenges the stereotypes and the caricatures that fuel the hate groups. You may not agree with what you hear - I mean, how often do we even agree with our family members? - but you begin to understand where they're coming from. That understanding is the beginning of peace. I really do think that the media can be the greatest force for peace on Earth. Instead, all too often, it is wielded as a weapon of war. We have to take the media back.” - Amy Goodman, Place to B at COP21