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“Transits and Migrations: A Summer in Berlin” Exhibition Highlights Duke Undergraduate Documentary Photography

"Produce Stand"

Photograph by Genevieve Valladao, from the series “Kottbusser Tor Fruit Stand”

A new exhibition at the Center for Documentary StudiesTransits and Migrations: A Summer in Berlin, highlights student coursework from Duke undergraduates who spent the past summer living and learning in Berlin, Germany. Duke’s summer course, Capturing the City: Documentary Photography in Berlin, pushed students to immerse themselves fully in one of Europe’s most dynamic capital cities. During the course, students interpreted scenes of cultural life, public spaces, landscapes, and people. Project fieldwork sites included the U-Bahn—Berlin’s subway system—as well as Tempelhof airfield, a Nazi-era airport made famous during the 1948–1949 Berlin Airlift that is now a public park and a reception center for refugees. Students also wrote fictional short stories based on vintage photographs purchased at Berlin flea markets and met with Berlin-based documentary photographers and writers.

Transits and Migrations: A Summer in Berlin Exhibition
Exhibit On View: October 27, 2016–April 15, 2017

Opening reception: Thursday, October 27, 6–8 p.m.
Porch and University Galleries
Center for Documentary Studies
1317 W. Pettigrew St., Durham, North Carolina

“Like our other Duke-in-Berlin courses, we really conceive of the city as our ‘classroom.’ Because Berlin has so much to offer—from galleries, museums, an incredible variety of neighborhoods, and, of course, an endless range of historically-significant sites—we were rarely in our regular classroom sitting at desks,” said course instructor Christopher Sims, the undergraduate education director at Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies.

Transits and Migrations: A Summer in Berlin includes work by students Rachel Corr, Dai Li, Ellen Liew, Barbara McHugh, Iliana Sun, Genevieve Valladao, Katlyn Walther, Wenqin Wang, and Deanna White, as well as recent John Hope Franklin Award winners Grace Farson and Amirah Jiwa and class instructor Christopher Sims

The class and exhibition were supported by Duke University’s Duke-in-Berlin program, German Department, Center for Documentary Studies, as well as The Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation Endowment Fund. Deanna White’s independent study was supported by the Center for International Studies Undergraduate Summer Overseas Travel Research Award and her senior year research work with Christopher Sims was also supported by funding through Humanities Writ Large. The Duke-in-Berlin summer program is offered through Global Education for Undergraduates; the program director is Susanne Freytag, the academic director is Jakob Norberg, and the resident director is Jochen Wohlfeil. DOCST 271S—Capturing the City: Documentary Photography in Berlin—is cross-listed with GERMAN, ARTVIS, and VMS.

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