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Certificate in Documentary Arts Graduates Present Final Projects, April 25

Six Continuing Education students at the Center for Documentary Studies will graduate this spring from the Certificate in Documentary Arts program, having completed a structured sequence of courses culminating with a Final Seminar taught by folklorist and filmmaker Nancy Kalow. They will present their final projects and receive their certificates at a graduation event at the Full Frame Theater, followed by a reception.

Friday, April 25, 7 p.m.
Full Frame Theater, Power Plant building
American Tobacco Campus
320 Blackwell St., Durham, North Carolina

During the Final Seminar, students finish a substantial documentary work—projects that often move out into the world in the form of exhibits, installations, screenings, websites, audio shows, and more. Here, the six Certificate in Documentary Arts graduates and their projects:

Michelle Hanes | Inscape | Multimedia video
An intimate glimpse into the studios of four artists located inside the historic Inscape Arts building, a Seattle landmark that once housed dark memories. The artists’ relationship to the physical space and the community they’ve established within it reveals how Inscape influences their work.


Photographer Michelle Hanes moved from Seattle to study filmmaking, writing, and audio at CDS and to earn her Masters of Liberal Studies at Duke. Now back home, she is continuing her documentary work with a multimedia project about a community of early-onset-memory-loss patients and a master’s thesis about photographers who give cameras to children so they can document their own lives.

Jane Marsh | Invitation to Trespass | Multimedia
A story of unconditional love and the unlikely friendship between Mr. Smylie, an older man in poor health, and Jane, a younger, energetic lady who volunteers for the American Cancer Society. The piece is woven together through Smylie’s archival photographs from post–World War II Europe while serving in the Air Force, and Jane’s photos of Smylie taken decades later.

Marsh Mr. Smylie No Tres close up 2

Jane Marsh was born and raised in High Point, North Carolina, fertile ground to explore her first creative loves, still photography and film. Within the many commercial photographic studios that service the home furnishings industries in High Point, she conceived, produced, sold, and marketed editorial and advertising photography. Marsh worked as a set and interior designer before enrolling in classes at CDS in 2010 to pursue her dream of telling an authentic story about a man she did not want society to overlook or disregard.


Hanes Motsinger | The Roots of a Porcelain Rose | Audio
The story of Luziela de Jesus Gaspar-Martins, a woman Hanes Motsinger met at the University of Sussex in Falmer, England, in 2009. By age 31, “Luzi” had lived, worked, and studied in countless countries around the world, spending only nine years in her country of birth, Angola. In this audio documentary, Luzi reflects on her experiences to make sense of the people, places, sounds, smells, and tastes she calls “home.”


Hanes Motsinger grew up among the tobacco fields of Surry County in the North Carolina foothills. At age 22, inspired by dreams of becoming an international development professional and expatriate, she began a journey around the world with camera and pen in hand. The experience nourished her longing to tell stories that advance cross-cultural understanding and fostered her desire to advocate for social change in the United States. In March 2012, Motsinger landed at CDS, finding inspiration in the ways teachers, friends, family members, and strangers tell stories.


Mary Samouelian | The Guardians of History | Audio and Photography
The story of seven archivists working in the Technical Services department of Duke University’s Rubenstein Library. Through photography and audio, Guardians explores why we archivists do what we do and how our work makes it possible for researchers, historians, writers, and the general public to discover and experience intimate connections between their lives and historical materials.

Samouelian Stillforprogram

Mary Samouelian is the Abraham Joshua Heschel Processing Archivist at the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University. She is an avid photographer and intrepid documentarian. In 2011, she enrolled at CDS to expand her knowledge of documentary art forms and to explore different media for telling stories.


Brooke Darrah Shuman | Findings | Video
The study of chimpanzees in laboratories began in the 1930s, when Robert Yerkes purchased two baby chimps that had been captured in the wild. This short video looks at the history of our closest evolutionary relatives in labs, in entertainment, and in the field, using archival footage, with special attention paid to one of the most famous primatologists, Jane Goodall. [Image: “Miss Goodall and the Wild Chimpanzees,” 1965, National Geographic]

Shuman 6

Brooke Darrah Shuman moved to Durham after she took a weeklong video course at CDS and found the heat, the trains, and the barbecue too good to pass up. With some friends she met at the Center, Shuman helped start Vittles Films, a documentary collective that makes art about food systems and culture in the American South. Her video work with Vittles has appeared on the Oxford American, IndyWeek, and Southern Foodways Alliance websites, and her radio work has aired on WNYC’s Studio360 and Maine Public Radio.


Leanne Simon | Looking Around: A Memoir | Writing, presented with multimedia
A self-described “dreadful avalanche of a child,” Leanne leaves her troubled home life at the age of fourteen, setting off on what she thinks will be a grand adventure. She is in search of what she considers her missing piece—family. On her many travels through city streets and jailhouse yards, she instead finds a string of dysfunctional relationships, life on the run, and drug addiction. At twenty-six, she is hooked on heroin, married to a batterer, and pregnant. When DSS takes the baby away, she discovers the true meaning of family and reclaims her power. In her journey to recover her son, she also discovers what she had been looking for all along: quiet.

Simon Age18Mohawk

Simon, circa 1995. Photograph by Artie Dixon

A lifelong writer and photographer, Leanne Simon was brought to documentary arts through her work in social justice. Since 2009, she has produced numerous videos and photo essays that have been used to help raise awareness of local and international issues and to spur communities to action.


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