Slice of Life

‘Out Here’ screening and Q&A session will highlight LGBTQ farmers

Emmy Gnat | Head Illustrator

The Syracuse University David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics’s food studies program will hold a screening of “Out Here,” a documentary film about the lives and work of queer farmers in the United States. The screening will take place on Tuesday, March 28 from 5-7:30 p.m. in Heroy Geology Building’s auditorium, and will also include a Q&A with the film’s director, Jonah Mossberg.

Elissa Johnson, the food studies internship placement coordinator, was inspired to screen “Out Here” at SU after watching the film at the Northeast Organic Farming Association Conference two years ago.

“We were really interested in bringing Jonah and his film to campus because it gets at the foundational ideas of the intersection between farming community, practice and identity,” Johnson said. “That intersection is the principle that the food studies program is all about.”

Mossberg’s inspiration is rooted in his own experience as a queer farmer.

“Back when I started this project in 2008, there was almost no documentation or representation of queer farmers,” he said. “I started this as a way of feeling more connected to people in my community, and seeing what experiences we shared.”

Before actually filming “Out Here,” Mossberg’s idea of documenting queer farmers began as a blog titled the “Queer Farmer Film Project.” He traveled across the country for a month, visiting different kinds of LGBTQ farmers. His film documents a part of rural farming culture not often recognized, questioning what it means to be a farmer in the US, as well as what it means to be queer in the US.

Johnson believes all SU majors can benefit from the screening and Q&A. The sheer number of co-sponsors for the event speaks to the wide reach and appeal that the film can have across campus, including the women’s and gender studies program; the sociology and anthropology departments in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs; the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender studies program; and the BrainFeeders club.

“When we watch this film, we can see that farming is not just about planting seeds and watching them grow,” Johnson said. “It’s about labor, politics and community.”

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