A Q&A With Runner and Documentary-Maker Faith Briggs About Her Film ‘This Land’

"Faith Briggs, a runner and a documentary-maker, sheds light on important issues through her writing and her work. Most recently, her film This Land focuses on her journey to learn about public-land access, race, and social equity.

In her film, Briggs runs 150 miles across public lands with people of varying backgrounds to educate herself and others on the importance of these lands. Her conversations with these locals and other members of the communities helped her gain perspective on the issues at hand.Though the film debuted March 1, it was overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic, which shut down the country weeks later. Though the pandemic is far from over, due to recent spikes in cases across the country, we wanted to revisit the film since it is an important issue facing runners on a local and national level.

On Wednesday, July 15 at 7 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. MT, there‘s a virtual showing of the film in partnership with Protect Our Winters. After the showing, Briggs will do a Q&A with Clare Gallagher, reigning Western States champion and one of the most passionate activits in the running world.We caught up with Briggs to gain a little more insight into her journey, the lessons she learned, and what runners need to know about this topic.Runner’s World: One of the first things you mention in the film is that you want to redefine what a conservationist is. Can you explain that to me?Faith Briggs: A lot of the environmental stories that seem to be out in the world were focused on the conservation of land and the protection of animals and habitat, but that wasn’t including stories about people. It wasn’t including stories about habitat for people, as well. And yet, there was a film about the island nation, Kiribati, sinking, and how the people who live there were potentially going to be the first climate refugees. And I started thinking, “Whoa, we’re going to have climate refugees? This is crazy.”I think [for a lot of people], when you hear conservation, you aren’t thinking about people. I think that’s wrong. I think conservation is very much about people, and I think that if more people felt that conservation was about them, then you’d have more people joining into more of these other conservation issues."

See full Q+A on Runner's World Here.

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