Documentary Viewing & Virtual Panel Discussion: Back Water


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Join us for an online event celebrating the release of Jon Cohrs’ movie Back Water with a panel of individuals involved in the film and the issues and topics it raises.

Back Water tells the story of seven people who traveled by canoe through the New Jersey Meadowlands to learn about this beautiful, but toxic, site that many of us live near.

Free access to watch the full-length version of Back Water will be granted to those who R.S.V.P., with a link to the movie on Vimeo, so participants can watch before the Q+A.

For this panel, Jon Cohrs will be joined by Robert Sullivan, author of The Meadowlands: Wilderness Adventure sat the Edge of a City, and Nicola Twilley, author and co-host of the podcast, Gastropod, who also took part in the Back Water expedition. Together they will discuss the making of Back Water, and dive into issues ranging from adaptation, land reclamation and protection, to ideas of wilderness and climate change.

This event is free. R.S.V.P. required.

If you would like to view Back Water using the format of your choosing, and support the movie, you can rent or buy Back Water via iTunes or Amazon:

Rent or purchase on Apple
Rent or Purchase on Amazon

About Back Water:

In the middle of New Jersey exists a strange landscape of wetlands and wildlife migrations, garbage dumps and the ruins of industry, toxic waste sites and a river that tells the story of a civilization’s new frontier. That is what seven young people have chosen to paddle through for 10 days, in canoes … a singular expedition, as romantic as it is political.

The Panelists:

Jon Cohrs
Jon Cohrs is a filmmaker and media artist whose work uses public engagement, collaboration and site-specific experiences to address contemporary issues in pop-culture, the environment, healthcare and technology. He’s part of the R&D team at The New York Times working with emerging technology to shape the future of journalism.

His work has been shown at Vision Du Reel, Ars Electronica, The Total Museum Korea, Art in General, among others. He’s received grants from NYSCA, Media-Arts Assistance Fund, Mellon Grant, Experimental Televisions Center, Future-Everything and fellowships from Eyebeam, NYFA, and the Banff Centre for the Arts. He has taught at RPI, Parsons, Pratt Institute, NYU, SUNY Purchase, and Finish Academy of Fine Art.

Robert Sullivan
Robert Sullivan is the author of The Meadowlands, A Whale Hunt, Rats and Cross Country. A contributing editor to Vogue, his writing has also appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Dwell magazine. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two children.

Nicola Twilley
Nicola Twilley is co-host of the award-winning podcast Gastropod and a frequent contributor to The New Yorker. She is deeply obsessed with refrigeration, and is currently writing a book on the topic, after having explored China’s coldscape for The New York Times Magazine and curated an exhibition exploring North America’s spaces of artificial refrigeration with the Center for Land Use Interpretation. She is co-authoring a book on quarantine with Geoff Manaugh, and, in her spare time, she makes smog meringues. Check her out at:

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