Articulating Complexity

Yesterday, I learned on Twitter that the movie Shored Up was being shown on NC State University’s Centennial Campus in the auditorium of the new Hunt Library which had been declined by the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. Since the documentary had something to do with beaches, I thought I’d check it out. I was surprised when I got there to see so many people. The auditorium was nearly full and by the time the movie showed, there were people in the aisles and in the back who could not find a seat. I guess the issues surrounding development, restoration, and use of beaches can draw a crowd. There were some pretty important people there – a panel of speakers who would address the audience after the movie, including the director of the movie.

Shored Up Panel at NCSU Hunt Auditorium

For background on the event, check out these news articles:

The movie was an interesting collection of personal anecdote and science references – it explored a few different points of view on the state of our barrier beaches and suggested that the future will bring some difficult questions for those who want to keep thinking of the land on barrier islands as ordinary beaches that can remain the same. There was a lot of talk about science and politics, and even some economics (though not as much as science and politics). It definitely should get some discussion going. I was glad that NCSU hosted the showing and provided some time for the panel to voice some opinions and even answer some questions from the audience.

The movie attributed John McPhee’s The Control of Nature as a source of inspiration and it was clear from the movie’s content that this was the point of view of the movie’s creator. NCSU’s Dr. Kenneth Zagacki was there to keep the conversation going – exploring the ways that complex issues are presented to multiple audiences. The documentary had the voice of a few advocacy groups such as the American Littoral Society but it offered a range of voices and opinions.

For me it was an introduction to the idea of sea level rise in a way that is visible to me, since I enjoy going to North Carolina shore. Here are some links with some of the research findings:

This event was a great collaboration of different schools within NCSU and was a great opportunity to explore an issue that we face today.

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