Evann Twitchell: Wild Folk (a micro-documentary)
Wild Folk, a nature based learning community in central Missouri, aimed to encourage the inherent joy of curiosity based learning.
I stumbled upon this remarkable community of “unschooling” by an incredibly serendipitous and harmonious alignment of stars. Attending a climate action protest alone, I gravitated toward a familiar face and the group of spunky children surrounding her. She was Polina Malikin, the founder and coordinator of Wild Folk Farm and Forest School. As I joined them, we chatted while walking the streets with our hand-painted signs in the air. There was something so human and quirky, so courageous and genuine and colorful about these kids. I wanted to learn more and I’m so thankful I did.
In the following months I visited the school numerous times, getting to know the people and documenting their untraditional education experience. Their mission, to cultivate compassionate, empowered, ecologically-minded citizens through a deep connection to the natural world, community and play, echoed a profound need I had felt in my experiences as a K- 12 substitute teacher and in my own childhood. Creating this short documentary allowed me to dream about the future of intentional and experiential learning in new and exciting ways.
Unfortunately, by the summer of 2020, Wild Folk was no longer able to continue due to various challenges. Though seasons have changed for this vibrant community, I am confident the impact of Wild Folk’s rich soil will live on in the roots of all who were planted in it for lifetimes to come.
Dedicated to the late Leo Malikin.
Original music by Lake Mary and The Ranch Family Band
Produced by Evann Twitchell, in the Murray Center for Documentary Journalism
Special thanks to Stacey Woelfel, Polina Malikin, Sara Miller, and Chaz Prymek
About the Project
- Title of Work: Wild Folk (a micro-documentary)
- Medium: A seven minute documentary short film
- Student's Name: Evann Twitchell
- Major: Journalism (Radio Television)
- Anticipated Graduation Date: May 2022
- Hometown: Columbia, Missouri
- Student's Mentor: Stacey Woelfel
- Mentor's Department: Documentary Journalism
- Art Project ID: 21VADS - 026