“Who do we get to see? And therefore, who do we get to believe in? Not only to understand people better, but I think to understand for younger kids especially how they get to travel through the world and what their potential could be. It’s a lot harder to imagine yourself being something if you’ve never seen anyone that looks like you doing it. And we internalize these images of who gets to be a surfer and who doesn’t, or who gets to be a marathoner and who doesn’t, or who gets to be, you know, a politician, and who doesn’t. So yeah, that’s what I mean when I say representation.”
Faith E. Briggs is a runner, documentary filmmaker, and advocate currently based in Portland, Oregon, and her work focuses on diversity and representation in the media and outdoors. Her latest film, This Land, is a story about land access told through a journey of inclusion and empowerment, where she and a few other runners ran 150 miles through three U.S. National Monuments and assess what is at stake if previously protected lands are reduced and if the public is largely unaware about it.
I had been looking forward to this conversation for a while and it did not disappoint. We talked about the mix of excitement and trepidation Faith is feeling midway through 2020, working through some of the confusion she’s been experiencing, and why representation in the media is more important now than ever before. She also told me about the the appeal of mountains, trails, and ultras to someone who ran the 400m in college, redefining “conservationist,” her love of words, language, and storytelling, and a lot more.