John Fiege is a filmmaker and photographer whose work explores our relationships with one another and the environment, probing key questions at the heart of our global ecological crisis, including how art, activism, community, and culture are vitally linked to our ecological predicament. His award-winning films have played at festivals, museums, universities, conferences, and community centers around the world, including SXSW, Hot Docs, MoMA, Big Sky, and Cannes, and received distribution on iTunes, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Sundance Now, and other platforms. His films tell stories about the clash between people and industry in the American South—the poultry industry, the BP oil spill, the Keystone XL pipeline, and now, with his current projects, the environmental justice communities where those oil pipelines are headed. He holds graduate degrees in both geography and filmmaking and is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Media Study at the University at Buffalo.
Aniya Wingate is a radiant and talented African American dancer in high school in Houston, who was displaced from her home for half a year by Hurricane Harvey. Shoulders Deep translates her experience of displacement through dance, poetry, and performance. Aniya’s fear, despair, and alienation give way to the salvation, comfort, and love of family and village, where she finds the support to transform trauma into artistic expression. The film is about the existential threat to our home in the era of climate chaos and the regenerative power of coming back home after disaster strikes. Love is central to Aniya’s journey of recovery, and her movement becomes the physical expression of that love. Directed by John Fiege. 8 minutes