By Jack Greenberg & Gavin Robbins Thatcher
What is "Thrasher Gatherers" All About?
This film project is designed to highlight the positive interactions that humans can have with the urban ecological landscape. The project is called "Thrasher Gatherers" because it is a modern take on how to ethically forage, identify local plants, and learn about the cultural and ecological history of Isla Vista. The “Thrasher” aspect points to the appeal that counter-culture has on contemporary society, specifically through the medium of skateboarding. Skateboards are a vehicle which fuels urban exploration as they can only be used in developed areas. While many see concrete as evidence of ecological strain created by humans, "Thrasher Gatherers" highlights how we can still learn and experience nature while navigating a citified landscape. The film follows the journey of a skater, Dmitry, who meets with real community members that willingly share local ecological knowledge. Initially feeling upset with the role that humans play in their environment, he begins to see that people in his community appreciate the less noticeable parts of the natural world and that he can too. With this new perspective, there’s a chance for creativity and community to grow through the cracks in concrete.
All original footage and editing by Jack Greenberg and Gavin Robbins Thatcher.
A Glimpse Into Our Process:
“We only get one shot! Gav you got this? Camera recording? Alright, action!” The gap lies ahead and just beside an active new restaurant doorway in Isla Vista, the new owners are not fond of skateboarders and therefore our visit must be quick. Slash a curb, air a gap, carve a bank, push as if fire ignites wherever your foot hits next. Skateboarders are liberated by their four wheels, eight bearrings, and seven ply decks. To them, this tool allows for endless endeavors, seeking out the new pavement being poured that day in the urban sprawl, or even by chance the ripening fruit overhanging a community sidewalk. The way a skateboarder sees the world is not like most.
Meet the Filmmakers:
Jack is a graduating 4th-year transfer student at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is majoring in Cultural Anthropology with a concentration in subsistence management. With a strong desire to leave this world better than he found it, Jack hopes to teach workshops on food citizenship to local communities to help promote a more just and equitable food system.
Gavin Robbins Thatcher
Gavin Robbins Thatcher transferred from Santa Barbara City College and will graduate in 2020 from UCSB. He continues his various interests in Cultural Anthropology on and off campus and enjoys documenting the various environments and people he gets to engage with. These perspectives are shared with the hope to encourage the conversation, conservation and exploration of the world we come from.
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