Eunice Blavascunas, Program on the Environment
Black Stork/White Stork: The Social Life of Nature
Black Stork/White Stork: The Social Life of Nature is a documentary film I shot in the summer quarter 2009 while conducting research for my postdoc at the University of Washington. The film follows the lives of two brothers living in a Polish village on the edge of the Bialowieza Forest, Europes last low-land old growth forest. Tourism has become the mainstay of the forest and agriculture has been made obsolete in the last decade. Stork populations have been effected by these changes, both the black storks, who live in the old forest, and the white storks that resided in the village meadows. The two brothers, whose lives I trace, are nicknamed, Black Stork and White Stork. Both middle aged men live at the margins of this new world, where more tourists, including ornithologists, come looking for a piece of primeval nature, and villagers find themselves not knowing how to fit in to tourism, except as relicts of their former selves. The film follows up on ethnographic research I conducted for my doctoral thesis at UC Santa Cruz in the anthropology department. I have over 14 hours of video I need to edit down to an hour. I have worked in 16 mm film previously but video is new to me and I request the assistance of UW staff and equipment. I would like to begin digitalizing the tapes and editing on December 1st, if not sooner.