On December 9, 2016, seven CDS Continuing Education students showed their final projects and received the Certificate in Documentary Arts. The graduation took place before an audience of friends, family, teachers, fellow students, and fans of documentary in the Full Frame Theater at the American Tobacco Campus. A reception followed in the Boiler Room outside the theater.
The six projects (one was a collaboration between two students) included two audio pieces, two videos, one photography project, and one multimedia project combining photography and writing. They are collected below. Projects represented by only a photograph and a description are not publicly available at this time, due to a student’s request.
Congratulations to the graduates!
James Balfour and Random Gott | Phatlynx! | Video
The Raleigh-Durham area’s favorite pork-obsessed Surfabilly band, Phatlynx (pronounced FAT-links), was conceived as a one-off group/performance with as many musicians as possible playing the Link Wray song “Rumble” at the Cave in Chapel Hill. They did that, and had such a good time that they’ve kept going, playing shows and adding songs, some of which aren’t by Link Wray but have the same headlong, low-fi attitude. Phatlynx! explores what keeps these four middle-aged men rockin’ in the face of growing older, having families, and trying to pay the bills.
James Balfour grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and now resides in Mebane, North Carolina. He has a BS and MA in appropriate technology from Appalachian State University and currently works in technology support. Among his past video documentary projects is the short film Hope: A Profile of the Northern Moore Family Resource Center. James is also an ardent photographer.
Random Gott lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and works at the School of Government at UNC–Chapel Hill. He attended California College of Arts and Crafts and majored in painting. He has held staff positions at the New York Shakespeare Festival, Yale Repertory Theatre, Spoleto Festival USA, and the High Museum of Art. One of Random’s past projects is the short film The Curtis Theatre.
Jenny Cordle | We Are Called One by One | Photography and Writing
In a series of still photographic portraits along with long form nonfiction writing, We Are Called One by One explores the power of ritual and tradition surrounding female genital cutting (FGC) in Mali, West Africa. It features interviews with girls in the village of Konza, the village midwife, a traditional healer, and a traditional cutter, with the goal of illuminating the cultural motivations of communities that practice FGC in Mali. “We are called one by one” is a recurring phrase spoken by girls in Konza, describing how they are summoned to meet the traditional cutter and begin the ritual. It also serves as a metaphor for the call to seek an understanding of our world and its peoples.
Jenny Cordle is a documentary photographer and creative nonfiction writer. She developed an interest in global health while serving in West Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer. Her work has been featured in Vanishing Point Magazine and AfriPost: Epistolary Journeys of African Pictures. She has exhibited work at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts and Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Jenny holds a BS in photography from Middle Tennessee State University.
Eric Ginsburg | The Extract | Audio
This project was designed as the pilot episode of a podcast (also called The Extract), and is the product of an eighteen-month collaboration with Emily McCord and Bethany Chafin, two staffers at Winston-Salem-based public radio station WFDD, and newspaper editor Eric Ginsburg. Envisioned as a platform to explore culture and place through the lens of food, The Extract is a scripted, highly produced podcast based in North Carolina’s Triad region, the first concrete collaboration between WFDD and Triad City Beat newspaper. In the first test episode, “The Date,” our hosts dig into the role of food in dating, with an unconventional approach—setting up and recording a blind date. Listen as Andrew and Anna, two single millennials who live in the same neighborhood but have never met, get to know each other over a meal.
Eric Ginsburg is managing editor of Triad City Beat newspaper, an alternative weekly that he cofounded in 2014. Eric grew up in the greater Boston area and moved to Greensboro, North Carolina, to attend Guilford College, where he graduated with a degree in history. He interned at North Carolina Public Radio WUNC, and the Center for Documentary Studies provided him with the opportunity to expand his journalistic and storytelling work into the audio realm. Eric has freelanced for the New York Times, was interviewed on the podcast Criminal, was quoted thrice in the book Where to Eat Pizza, and was a guest speaker at a local jail. Read more at eric-ginsburg.com.
David Morrow | Humans of Findlay | Photography
What started as the effort of a lonely man to get to know his neighbors has blossomed into a three-year project, resulting in over 600 interviews, one book (with another on the way), and a much closer community. Dave Morrow is a retired educator and amateur photographer living in Findlay, Ohio, a city of 42,000 people. Taking a page from the Humans of New York project, Humans of Findlay brought together people from all walks of life, from 5 to 102 years old, of all genders, ethnicities, religious denominations, orientations, and social classes. All proceeds (nearly $9,000) from sales of the first book, called “Findlay’s yearbook,” have gone to the children’s program at the local historical museum. It took the combined efforts and donations of the Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs, the University of Findlay Community Foundation, and the Findlay Publishing Company to bring this book to press. The project was also facilitated by support from staff and instructors at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. The Humans of Findlay Facebook page is currently followed in over forty countries and nearly every state of the union.
David Morrow is a wandering photographer who has lived in California, Utah, and Missouri, and for the past eleven years in Findlay, Ohio. A retired educator, EMT, and high school/college basketball and softball referee, he has been the driving force behind Humans of Findlay for almost three years. He has a degree from the University of Utah, a teaching certification from Weber State University, and has taken advanced degree and certification classes from the University of Findlay and the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. He and Karna, his wife of twenty years, have six children, fifteen grandchildren, and a furry baby named Taz.
F. Caperton Morton | An Artist’s Journey: To Cameroon and Back | Audio
An Artist’s Journey: To Cameroon and Back tells the story of Durham, North Carolina–based visual artist Anne Heartt Gregory, who travels to Cameroon to create collaborative art. Working from a collection of archival photographs, Anne designs an audiovisual project and brings it to life with a group of young women who have been orphaned due to AIDS. On returning home, Anne realizes she’s inspired to continue the project, but in an unexpected way.
F. Caperton Morton was born in West Virginia and grew up in a small farming and coal mining town in Illinois. She graduated from Sweet Briar College in Virginia with a BA in English and creative writing, and took jobs that appealed to her creative nature, like window display designer, graphic artist, and map technician. In 1994, she moved with her family from Amherst, Virginia, to Durham. She became a stay-at-home after her second child was born, volunteering in her children’s schools and in the community.
When Caperton’s son was in college, he said, “You’ve been a great mom, but now it’s time to figure out what you want to do and do it.” She took his advice. She signed up for the Introduction to Documentary Studies and decided to sample all documentary media starting with her last choice—audio—to get it out of the way. During the first class, she fell in love with audio production and stuck with it.
In 2014, Caperton remarried, moved to Kansas City, Missouri, and transferred to CDS’s Distance Certificate program. Earlier this year, she was an intern at KCUR, the NPR affiliate in Kansas City. After graduating, she plans to continue meeting people, recording their stories, and producing audio pieces to share.
John Viehe | Bible Lands Study Tour: Tourism or Pilgrimage? | Video
In May and June of 2015, John accompanied a group of Campbell University divinity students (MDiv and DMin) on a study tour of the Holy Land. This video recounts their experiences on what was truly a pilgrimage that combined travel, worship, and recreation. It also includes his own political observations, from the perspective of his former career as an intelligence officer.
John Viehe grew up in Western New York State and studied photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He earned MEd and EdD degrees at North Carolina State University, and an MBA at Wake Forest University. In his career as a military intelligence officer, he spent five years in Korea, and half of his active duty years were spent in special operations assignments, during which he completed nearly a hundred military parachute jumps. From 2000–2012, he served on the psychology faculty at Wake Technical College in Raleigh. He’s currently an adjunct professor of psychology at Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina.
John spends summers in Chautauqua, New York, at the Chautauqua Institution, a national center for the arts, education, recreation, and religion. In 2013, he created Chautauqua People, a Charlie Rose–style interview program that airs on Mayville, New York’s community access television. In 2014, he established a video production company, Documentary Videos in 4K, and has conducted video shoots in Israel, Cuba, and Berlin. In the summer of 2016 he recorded footage of Campbell University students in Western Europe. His most satisfying work was documenting Afghan, Iraqi, and Syrian refugees in Berlin for one week prior to the arrival of the Campbell students.