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    March 4: “The Activist’s Playbook” Panel and Launch Celebration for the “One Person, One Vote” Website

    February 25th, 2015
    The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) helped organize a voter registration project in Lowndes County, Alabama, where black voters formed their own party and voted in their own primary; Lowndes County, Alabama,  May 3, 1966. Photograph by Maria Varela, 3910713 Take Stock.

    The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) helped organize a voter registration project in Lowndes County, Alabama, where black voters formed their own party and voted in their own primary; Lowndes County, Alabama, May 3, 1966. Photograph by Maria Varela, 3910713 Take Stock.

    An event at the Durham County Public Library commemorates next month’s 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama; presents a panel discussion, “The Activist’s Playbook: From SNCC to Selma to the New Civil Rights Movement”; and celebrates the launch of a new multimedia website from the SNCC Legacy Project and Duke University—One Person, One Vote: The Legacy of SNCC and the Fight for Voting Rights. CDS director Wesley Hogan will moderate a discussion with panelists Charlie Cobb and Judy Richardson, SNCC veterans and Visiting Activist Scholars in the SNCC-Duke initiative; Cynthia Brown, a local activist and civil rights scholar; and local youth activists. The One Person, One Vote website tells the story of how SNCC’s commitment to community organizing forged a movement for voting rights made up of thousands of local people.

    The SNCC Legacy Project–Duke University partnership was formed to chronicle the historic struggles for voting rights and to develop ongoing programs that contribute to a more civil and inclusive democracy. Click here and here to read more about the overall initiative, and here to watch an overview video. Bookmark, which will launch on March 2!

    This event is cosponsored by Duke University Libraries and the Center for Documentary Studies.

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      Tonight: CDS Undergrad Outreach Film Series Kicks Off with “Grizzly Man”

      February 25th, 2015


      The Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) is presenting a three-part screening series on Duke University’s East Campus to raise students’ awareness of CDS, particularly first-year undergraduates. Following the screening of each of the acclaimed documentaries—Grizzly Man, Harlan County USA, and The Invisible War—Chris White, a Duke University sophomore and the CDS undergraduate outreach coordinator, will facilitate discussions in the manner of courses he has taken as an undergraduate at CDS— discussing the techniques and styles of the filmmaker, the policy-driven intentions and consequences of the films, and the overall impact of the films, which exhibit three different styles of documentary work.

      Grizzly Man (Werner Herzog, 2006)
      Wednesday, February 25, 7 p.m.
      Carr 136, Duke’s East Campus

      “Mr. Herzog is no ordinary filmmaker. It is the rare documentary like Grizzly Man, which has beauty and passion often lacking in any type of film, that makes you want to grab its maker and head off to the nearest bar to discuss man’s domination of nature and how Disney’s cute critters reflect our profound alienation from the natural order.” –Manohla Dargis, New York Times review of Grizzly Man, 2005

      Werner Herzog has been described as a daring and intense filmmaker throughout his long career. Grizzly Man is one of Herzog’s most successful films, and definitely one that stands out in comparison to his others. Many critics have used the descriptions “comical” and “tragic” to describe the film. Using footage caught by Timothy Treadwell himself, Herzog crafts an amazing story about Treadwell’s life with the grizzlies.

      Harlan County USA (Barbara Kopple, 1976)
      Wednesday, March 18, 7 p.m.
      Carr 136, Duke’s East Campus

      Harlan County USA was born out of footage made by Barbara Kopple chronicling the “Brookside Strike,” which occurred in southeast Kentucky in 1973. Lacking any narration by Kopple, Harlan County USA is an example of a verité film that places audiences directly in the experiences of the events of the coal miners’ strike as they were happening.

      The Invisible War (Kirby Dick, 2012)
      Wednesday, April 15, 7 p.m.
      Carr 136, Duke’s East Campus

       The Invisible War focuses on the story of one individual to tell the stories of hundreds of men and women who have experienced sexual assault in the military. The Invisible War uses a number of interviews to inform the public about a harrowing issue that has existed in the military for years.

      Chris White is a sophomore undergraduate student at Duke University who is studying public policy and documentary studies. He has taken multiple classes at CDS, which he is using as a model for these screenings and discussions.

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        Fresh Docs Screening of “Chairman Jones”: February 27, Full Frame Theater

        February 22nd, 2015
        The James Henry Jones family. Courtesy of film director Anna Jones (back row, second from left).

        The James Henry Jones family. Courtesy of film director Anna Jones (back row, second from left).

        [James H. Jones] meant just as much to this small community, to northeastern North Carolina, as Martin Luther King does to the South, as President Obama does to the world. —Willie Gilchrist, distinguished longtime school administrator, former university chancellor and member of the UNC Board of Governors

        The Center for Documentary Studies and the Southern Documentary Fund present a free screening of director Anna Jones’ Chairman Jones as part of the Fresh Docs series, which features documentary works-in-progress. Following screenings, SDF director Rachel Raney moderates a conversation with the filmmaker in which the audience participates, providing valuable feedback.

        Chairman Jones
        Friday, February 27, 7 p.m.

        Full Frame Theater, American Tobacco Campus
        320 Blackwell Street, Durham, North Carolina

        Note that while Fresh Docs screenings are free, all attendees must reserve a ticket via Eventbrite, available beginning at 9 a.m. on the day of the event; bookmark this page and reserve tickets on February 27. 

        Chairman Jones tells the story of the director’s father, James Henry Jones, a farmer with a seventh-grade education who emerged as a trailblazer during the 1969 school desegregation crisis in Northampton County, North Carolina, leading the fight to end nearly a century of education inequality. Jones placed his own children on the front lines, brought blacks and whites together for dialog and consensus, helped integration “tiptoe into the county,” as Anna Jones puts it, and transformed the educational landscape for everyone. His rise to become North Carolina’s first black school board chairman introduced a new era in education and had a marked effect on racial progress in the state. Born on a former slave plantation in 1916, Jones died in 1984, the year that the Northampton County school system received accreditation for the first time in its history, largely due to his extraordinary vision and leadership. View trailer.

        Anna Jones is a first-time filmmaker. Following a corporate management career, she immersed herself in art studies at North Carolina Central University, her alma mater, and Duke University, including the Center for Documentary Studies. She owns and manages the family cotton and peanut farm in Northampton County and lives in Durham, North Carolina, a patron of the arts and member of the Duke Chapel Advisory Committee. Jones believes that the stories of unrecognized black leaders in rural communities in the South need to be recorded in our nation’s history.

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          Deadline Extended to March 2 for CDS Documentary Essay Prize in Writing

          February 22nd, 2015


          The CDS Documentary Essay Prize is awarded by the Center for Documentary Studies to honor the best in documentary writing and photography in alternating years, with a focus on current or recently completed work from a long-term project. The 2015 CDS Documentary Essay Prize will be for documentary writing. The winner of the competition will receive $3,000 and have his or her work featured in Documentthe CDS quarterly newsmagazine, as well as in a virtual gallery on the CDS website.

          Submissions for the 2015 CDS Documentary Essay Prize in Writing will now be accepted from November 1, 2014, to March 2, 2015, a two-week extension. For guidelines, see How to Enter and FAQs.

          Writer Rachel Andrews won the 2013 prize for “A New Wilderness at the Maze,” her piece on the deconstruction of Ireland’s infamous prison, and photographer Iveta Vaivode won the 2014 prize for “Somewhere on a Disappearing Path,” her photo essay of imagined memories. Click here to learn more about both artists and their work.

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            “Durham Grown”: Duke + Durham Through Documentary Theater

            February 19th, 2015
            Detail from the Durham Grown flyer.

            Detail from the Durham Grown flyer

            Note: Rescheduled for March 3 due to the weather. A special production of the annual Me Too Monologues on Duke University’s East Campus will highlight stories about being from both Durham and Duke—Me Too Monologues: Durham Grown. Students, alumni, and faculty submit stories of their experiences and those submissions are turned into documentary theater performances produced and performed by Duke students. (Performers do not write the monologues that they enact.) Click here to go to the Me Too Monologues: Durham Grown Facebook page. This event is free and open to the public.

            Tuesday, March 3, 7:30 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.)
            Duke Coffeehouse
            Crowell Hall, Duke East Campus
            106 Epworth Ln., Durham, North Carolina

            Food trucks, DURM merch, live art, free stickers!

            Event collaborators include #artstigators, the Center for Documentary Studies, Forum for Scholars and Publics, Duke University Union, Duke Chapel, Duke Service-Learning, and Gabriel Eng-Goetz (Runaway Clothes & Pork Fried Art).

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              Screenings + Closing Event for James Longley’s “Kabul, Afghanistan”

              February 13th, 2015
              Still from James Longley's Iraq in Fragments

              Still from James Longley’s Iraq in Fragments

              James Longley is best known for his documentary films depicting life in conflict zones. His first photography exhibit, Kabul, Afghanistan, features panoramic images of a neighborhood in old Kabul that still bears the scars of years of civil war. Two of Longley’s Oscar-nominated documentaries—Iraq in Fragments (feature) and Sari’s Mother (short)—will screen on February 18 as part of the exhibit programming, followed by a Q&A with Longley. A closing reception for the exhibit will be held on February 20.

              Screenings: Wednesday, February 18, 7 p.m., Full Frame Theater
              Closing Event: Friday, February 20, 5–8 p.m., Power Plant Gallery
              American Tobacco Campus,
              320 Blackwell St., Durham, North Carolina

              Reserve your free tickets to Iraq in Fragments and Sari’s Mother via Eventbrite; a limited number are left.

              Iraq in Fragments offers an intimate view of the early years of the Iraq War through three different points of view. The Oscar-nominated film won numerous honors, including the Grand Jury Award at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in 2006 and three jury awards at Sundance. Sari’s Mother, about an Iraqi woman and her young son with AIDS (2007), was also nominated for an Academy Award.

              The Power Plant Gallery is a joint initiative of the Center for Documentary Studies and Duke’s MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts program.

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                Document Duke 360º, a Yearlong Crowdsourced Photography Project

                February 13th, 2015
                "Gettin’ Dirty at Duke Farm." This photograph by Matthew Cicanese was selected as the Document Duke 360 image of the day on January 20, 2015.

                “Gettin’ Dirty at Duke Farm” was selected as a Document Duke 360° photo of the day in January. Photograph by Matthew Cicanese.

                How do you see and experience Duke University? Take a picture. Tell your story.

                Document Duke 360º, a collaboration between Duke Photography and the Center for Documentary Studies, is an ambitious yearlong project that invites students, alumni, faculty or staff members, visitors, and members of the Durham community with a Duke connection to contribute their photographs in order to create a new and unconventional portrait of the extended Duke community—a 360-degree view captured in 365 images. One photo of the day, as well as a photo of the month chosen by a guest judge, will be featured on the project’s website, Instagram feed, and across other Duke social media sites.

                To participate in the project, submit your photos directly on Instagram using #Duke360 or via email by following the guidelines on the Document Duke 360º website. Please note that photos must have been taken in 2015 to be considered for the project.

                You can follow along with the daily Document Duke 360º photographs through the dedicated Instagram account [@documentduke360] and hashtag [#Duke360], as well as on the project’s online archive.



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                  Event Celebrates Duke/CDS Alum Eric Gottesman’s First Photo Book, “Sudden Flowers”

                  February 5th, 2015
                  "I want to be a mechanic so I can fix things."—Tinasae Muluneh. From "Sudden Flowers by Eric Gottesman.

                  “I want to be a mechanic so I can fix things.”—Tinasae Muluneh. From Sudden Flowers by Eric Gottesman.

                  On February 26, the Center for Documentary Studies is delighted to host the U.S. launch of Duke University/CDS alum (’98) Eric Gottesman’s first book, Sudden Flowers. Since 1999, when he was a fellow with Duke’s Hart Leadership Program, Gottesman has collaborated with Sudden Flowers, a collective of children living in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia—mostly AIDS orphans—to reimagine the harsh realities they experienced on the streets and in their homes in the wake of their parents’ deaths—including the trauma of grief, physical abuse, and AIDS-related stigma. Together they explored the possibilities of image making as a tool for self-expression, healing, and teaching others. The children, Gottesman said in a recent review in the New Yorker blog Photo Booth, “invented their own mythology, their own language to describe their lives: photographic fantasies as real, as immediate and as visual as memories.”

                  Reception, talk, and book signing with Eric Gottesman
                  Thursday, February, 26, 2015, 6–9 p.m.
                  Center for Documentary Studies
                  1317 W. Pettigrew St., Durham, North Carolina 

                  Over the fifteen-year span of the project, Sudden Flowers and Gottesman produced exhibitions, short films, and installations in Africa, the United States, and Europe. In Sudden Flowers, this work comes together for the first time as a book, composed of photographs by Gottesman and the children in the collective, as well as their essays and letters, family stories and autobiographies, and dreams for the future.

                  At the February 26 event, 7 p.m., Gottesman will present photographs and give a brief history of Sudden Flowers, the project and the book, and then will be joined by Sudden Flowers collaborators Biniyam Mesfin and Yamrot Alemu in a conversation moderated by CDS cofounder and longtime instructor, photographer Alex Harris. A book signing will follow.

                  As a student at Duke, Gottesman took his first photography class with Alex Harris, studied Literacy Through Photography with Wendy Ewald, was a fellow with Duke’s Hart Leadership Program, and received a CDS John Hope Franklin Student Documentary Award. Gottesman’s early images from Ethiopia were featured in the CDS Book 25 Under 25: Up-and-Coming American Photographers in 2003.

                  Eric Gottesman was a Fulbright fellow in the arts and has received awards and residencies from Creative Capital, the Magnum Foundation, Artadia, the Aaron Siskind Foundation, apexart, the Open Society Foundation, Light Work, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, among others. He is a Faculty Fellow at Colby College and has taught at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Amherst College, the International Center for Photography, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, and conducted workshops in Lebanon, Jordan, and Ethiopia.


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                    Full Frame’s Winter Series Closes with Roger Ebert Doc, “Life Itself”

                    February 3rd, 2015
                    Roger Ebert, still from Life Itself

                    Roger Ebert (foreground) in a still from Life Itself

                    On February 5, the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival‘s annual Winter Series at the historic Carolina Theatre wraps up with Life Itself from acclaimed director Steve James (Hoop Dreams) and producers Martin Scorcese and Steven Zaillian (Moneyball). Based on his bestselling memoir of the same name, the film recounts the inspiring, entertaining life of world-renowned film critic and social commentator Roger Ebert.View a trailer on the film’s website.

                    Thursday, February 5, doors at 7 p.m., screening at 7:30 p.m.
                    Fletcher Hall, Carolina Theatre
                    309 W. Morgan St., Durham, North Carolina

                    The screening is free and open to the public; no ticket required. 

                    Prior to the screening, join Full Frame for The Mix, a networking event for festival fans, marketing/communications professionals, social media lovers, and members of the Triangle arts community; click here for more information and RSVP on Full Frame’s Facebook event page.

                    The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival is a program of the Center for Documentary Studies. The Full Frame Winter Series is part of the Full Frame Road Show presented by PNC.

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                      Lynsey Addario’s “Veiled Rebellion: Women in Afghanistan” Now On View Through April 18

                      February 3rd, 2015
                      "Veiled Rebellion," photograph by Lynsey Addario.

                      From Veiled Rebellion. Photograph by Lynsey Addario.

                      Veiled Rebellion: Women in Afghanistan is on view at the Center for Documentary Studies through April 18. Renowned conflict photographer Lynsey Addario, a MacArthur Genius Grant recipient, made her first trip to Afghanistan in 2000 to document the lives of women under the Taliban. Addario has returned many times, always training a close eye on women’s lives in all areas of Afghan society: culture, politics, education, employment, and domestic life.

                      Exhibition Dates: February 9–April 18, 2015
                      Center for Documentary Studies, Juanita Kreps Gallery
                      1317 W. Pettigrew St., Durham, North Carolina

                      Much has changed—the same stadium where the Taliban performed public executions now hosts events for both sexes—but Afghanistan remains a country where it is extremely difficult to photograph women because of cultural and societal taboos. The body of work in Veiled Rebellion is the result of Addario’s 2009 commission by National Geographic for a comprehensive photo essay depicting the many facets of women’s lives in Afghanistan.

                      Veiled Rebellion is presented in partnership with Project&, an arts entity focused on cultural production with social impact. For more information, please visit All works created by Lynsey Addario.

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