During the watching of “’Look and See’: A Portrait of Wendell Berry”, our attention was brought to the issues that farmers go through every year. Some of the issues brought light to the fact that farmers have to go into debt first before they can think about making any profit or how the farmers have to hire immigrants to be able to harvest all of the produce. The farmers themselves explained the complexity of farming now versus when they were young. All of them explained that most of their job was corporate and they weren’t able to spend time in the fields. The documentary was able to catch the elegance of the forests and the stress of the farmers.
When the documentary had ended Chris Green, the Director of the Appalachian Center, led a much needed discussion. Majority of the audience’s concerns were how the generations have constantly been taking away from the land, but are not caring for what has taken care of the human race for thousands of years. Both sides were pointing out how there are people helping and there are younger generations finding ways to reverse the damage that the past has caused, but the fear of younger generations not appreciating the preservation of the landscape and the culture.
With the discussions going back to how younger generations not understanding the culture or the wildlife, I was struck with questions. Growing up I had been well acquainted with the forest and all of the mystical powers it had over my mind. I was not the only one, majority of the children from Grundy County, Tennessee loved playing in the forest. Although I used to spend most of my day embracing the forest and treasuring its soothing nourishment, modernization took me away from the backwoods and into classrooms. Then year after year the forests I had played in as a child were being cut down by logging companies and mined by corporate machines. Then the question hooked into my mind is, “How can a generation learn about the wonders of the diverse landscapes if the generations before them has been cutting them down?”
Article Written by Elston Harris