The Center for Documentary Studies is cosponsoring this discussion featuring five documentarians as they describe their journeys into places that were once filled with life but gradually became shadows and skeletons of that past vitality. Photographer Scott Garlock, whose exhibit Rural Revival inspired the event, will be joined by CDS and MFA|EDA instructor Alex Harris, MFA|EDA students Jon-Sesrie Goff and Dan Smith, and MFA|EDA alum Alina Taalman; the artists will discuss how their photographs and films connect viewers to the lives that once filled these places, prompting imaginations and memories to fill the voids.
Friday, September 4, 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m.
North Carolina Museum of History
5 East Edenton St., Raleigh, North Carolina
The panelists’ documentary works also reflects the personal connections the photographers and filmmakers have to the sites they document. Each of the panelists has a unique story to tell about why and how they chose to document a particular place. Showing examples of their work, they will explore how their own connections to a place affected those choices and what they hope to convey to a viewer. Learn more about the panelists and their work on the Duke Forum for Publics and Scholars website.
This program was inspired by the ongoing exhibition, Rural Revival: Photographs of Home and Preservation of Place at the North Carolina Museum of History, featuring the work of North Carolina-based photographer Scott Garlock. The program is being presented as part of the NCMH’s programming for Raleigh’s First Fridays arts events. This event is cosponsored by the North Carolina Museum of History, the Durham County Library, and, at Duke University, the Center for Documentary Studies, MFA|EDA program, and Forum for Scholars and Publics.
A cross-university event on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus features a film screening of The Toughest Job: William Winter’s Mississippi and conversation with the former Mississippi governor and former North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt. This Southern Documentary Project film received the 2015 Emmy for Best Historical Documentary from the Southeast division of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. A trailer for the film can be viewed here. The Center for Documentary Studies and MFA | EDA are the Duke University cosponsors for the event.
Wednesday, September 9, 5:30 p.m.
FedEx Global Education Center
UNC-Chapel Hill campus
301 Pittsboro St., Chapel Hill, North Carolina; map
MFA|EDA director Tom Rankin reflects on the singular career of film subject William Winter:
I moved to Mississippi in the early 1980s during a moment of optimism brought on by the progressive leadership of William Winter, who was elected as the 57th Mississippi Governor in 1980. A tenacious and pioneering education leader, Winter has remained a model for education reform efforts across the South. A new documentary film—The Toughest Job: William Winter’s Mississippi—chronicles his successful effort to pass the 1982 Education Reform Act. Whether as an author, historian, or political leader, former Governor Winter has never ceased pushing for deep changes in public education, challenging us all to understand that our collective future depends on fully educating all citizens. While Winter has been out of elected office since 1984, he has remained deeply active in the betterment of his state and the region. Now ninety-two years old, one can easily argue that through his mentoring of other politicians (including Bill Clinton), his progressive leadership on education and the economy, and his transformative role in race and reconciliation, he has served as a singular model of consciousness for the South and the nation over the last several decades. A member of the President’s Advisory Board on Race in 1997–98, the Center for Racial Reconciliation at the University of Mississippi is named in his honor and continues to be the beneficiary of his vision and continued work.
After the screening Winter and former North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt will discuss their political careers and specifically their work in education reform and expansion. Not long ago William Winter gently remarked of education policy, “I do think we have lost our momentum.” The post-screening conversation, moderated by David Dodson of MDC, promises to be an insightful reflection on where we’ve been and where we need to go.
UNC cosponsors for the event include Center for Global Initiatives, Global Research Institute, Carolina Center for Public Service, Southern Historical Collection, Center for the Study of the American South, and Hunt Institute.
Enjoy SEEDS: The Documentary, a short film produced by high school students in this summer’s School of Doc, a program of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. Watch the film in its entirety below, or on the dedicated School of Doc Vimeo Page. SEEDS, which celebrates a Durham, North Carolina, nonprofit of the same name, had its world premiere at the Full Frame Theater in July and will also be presented at the 2016 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival next April; camp participants will be able to attend the festival free of charge.
The School of Doc is Full Frame’s free five-week summer filmmaking camp open to all Durham, North Carolina, public high school students. Participants learn the art and craft of documentary filmmaking from instructors who make their living in the film industry and produce a completed documentary film in partnership with a Durham nonprofit organization.
The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival is a program of the Center for Documentary Studies.
Put these two dates on your calendar: the Full Frame Film Festival will host two free screenings of King Georges in the Triangle area this month. The free Third Friday screening on August 21 in Durham and the August 27 screening at the Cary Theater are both part of the Full Frame Road Show presented by PNC.
Le Bec-Fin is closing its doors. After 33 years, the crown jewel of the Philadelphia restaurant scene, known for its stellar French cuisine, opulent style, and impeccable service, no longer seems in step with current tastes. This film follows fiery owner and head chef Georges Perrier over the last four years of life at the restaurant, granting us ample access inside the belly of the beast. In stark contrast to the orchestrated perfection of its dining room, Le Bec-Fin’s kitchen is a constant circus of sweaty chaos and emotions, with Perrier as ringleader. He screams, he swears, he hovers obsessively over his sauces, tossing in dollops of heavy cream and large nobs of butter whenever backs are turned. But even as the intensity of the job, and its 21-hour workdays, takes its toll, Perrier struggles with his decision to relinquish control. More than just a vivid character study of a dedicated and passionate perfectionist, King Georges is a touching tribute to this master chef who realizes it is time to pass the torch on to the next generation whom he’s mentored so well.
For more information, including other upcoming Full Frame programming, click here. *Note that while both screenings are free, all attendees must reserve a ticket via Eventbrite, available at 9 a.m. on the day of the event.
The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival is a program of the Center for Documentary Studies.
In July 2015, the Hearing Is Believing audio institute brought 25 students from around the country for a weeklong immersion in the art of audio documentary. The institute was led by CDS audio program director John Biewen and visiting instructor Shea Shackelford, and featured presentations by guest speaker Glynn Washington, host of NPR’s Snap Judgment, and John Barth of PRX. Students chose from a slate of pre-arranged subjects centered around the topic of music, then recorded interviews, gathered other sounds, and used audio editing software to create short narratives. Their final projects are below.
An Amateur Production | Michele Peterson and Hannah Seda
Playing in an orchestra is serious business, demanding virtuosity and precision—perhaps less so, however, for the members of RTOOT, the Really Terribly Orchestra of the Triangle.
The Anti-Chapel Hill | Alicia Towler and Olivia Wilkes
Eight years ago, when musician Mark O’Connor first played at The Cave, a sweaty dive that’s Chapel Hill’s oldest bar, he couldn’t have imagined that five years later he’d own it.
Bluegrass Jam | Tiffany Jackson and Beth Shewell
A small rooftop cafe in Raleigh, the Busy Bee, hosts a bi-monthly bluegrass jam that’s a knee-slapping, foot-stomping good time for lovers of traditional music.
Canciones del Campo | Jenna Horgan
Student Action with Farmworkers intern Jenna Horgan describes her experiences leading a music program for hardworking, homesick immigrant farmworkers from Mexico and Central America.
Order, Balance, and Light: A Portrait of Matt Sampson | Shloka Ettna and Francesca Stark
25-year-old Matt Sampson is a pianist and composer whose musical idols include Bach, Beethoven, and Stephen Sondheim.
Ordinary Magic | Stuart Reit and Paige Ruane
Recording engineer John Plymale operates a studio in a strip mall. As a young musician his father had advised him to have a fall-back plan, but he decided that without such a plan he’d make sure not to fail.
PhDJ | Chris Biddle and Emily Shaw
Alex Kotch has a Ph.D. in music composition, but he just wants to make tracks that get people moving.
The Quest | Martin Kang and Patricia Tolbert
Marc Maximov, a sound designer at Deep Dish Theater in Chapel Hill, talks about his quest for perfect sound effects and interstitial music.
Soundtrack for a Movement | Karen Kemp and Gina Temple-Rhodes
Musician and fabric artist Caitlin Cary, founder of the North Carolina Music Love Army, uses music as a tool to agitate for political change.
Talk to Me | Martha LeFebvre and Angie Vorhies
Detroit native Richie Reno’s smooth baritone voice punctuates his weekly Motown radio show, High and Tight.
Time of the Preacher | Ashley Brown
Schoolkids Records owner Stephen Judge finds a Willie Nelson record that helps the family of an ailing man give his spirit one final spin.
The Tuba Hunter | Shoshana Goldberg and Caperton Morton
Some people collect stamps. Others are into shot glasses or baseball cards. Vincent Simonetti, former owner of the Tuba Exchange in Durham, collects tubas.
Tuning In | Erin Birney and Joanna Broder
Twentysomething singer-songwriter Sarah Ward pours out her heart in personal, imagistic poetry and music.
“Through this performance, the digital converts to the material—from an image living in the world of the virtual to being something that can hang on a wall, rest in a box, live as a print and become historical record.” —Caitlin Margaret Kelly, Power Plant Gallery public programs director
The Power Plant Gallery, a laboratory for the arts at Duke University, invites you to explore an exhibit of crowdsourced digital images celebrating Durham localities and identities in Phone Home Durham. For this exhibition, the Power Plant Gallery invited mobile phone photographers from all walks of life to submit images of Durham County taken with mobile phone cameras or other handheld devices. A public closing reception for the exhibit will be held on Friday, August 21.
Phone Home Durham
May 29–August 22, 2015
Closing Reception: Friday, August 21, 5–8 p.m.
Gallery Summer Hours: Thursday–Saturday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; Tuesday & Wednesday by appt. only
Power Plant Gallery, American Tobacco Campus
320 Blackwell Street, Durham, North Carolina (Directions)
A select number of photographs from the open call were printed for Phone Home Durham and will be added to the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University’s David M. Rubenstein Library following the exhibit’s closing. The gallery will continue to accept submissions throughout the exhibition for the “rotating wall” through August 22. For more information on submitting a photograph, visit the Power Plant Gallery’s website.
Print the Phone Home Durham gallery guide, which includes a list of photographers whose work is on display throughout the exhibit.
The Power Plant Gallery is a joint initiative of Duke’s MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts and the Center for Documentary Studies. Phone Home Durham is cosponsored by Museo Digital Fine Art Media and the Durham County Libraries.
The Center for Documentary Studies is honored to be the host venue for photographer Jessica Ingram‘s Road Through Midnight: A Civil Rights Memorial, through October 17, 2015. (Scroll down for a slideshow of images.) Ingram will be at CDS on September 17 for an artist’s talk that is free and open to the public.
In 2006, while exploring downtown Montgomery, Alabama, Ingram found herself standing on the former Court Square slave market. The historical marker presented stark facts, including the dollar values paid for slaves, but said nothing about the meaning of the place. “I’m from the South and was raised with an awareness of the devastating history of slavery,” says Ingram, “but this site sparked something in me that caught fire.” Curious about other sites, and what hidden histories she might be passing as she drove across the South, Ingram began researching and photographing places where civil rights–era atrocities, Klan activities, and slave trading occurred.
Road Through Midnight: A Civil Rights Memorial
Exhibition Dates: August 10–October 17, 2015
Reception + Artist’s Talk: September 17, 2015, 6–9 p.m.
Center for Documentary Studies, Juanita Kreps Gallery
1317 W. Pettigrew St., Durham, North Carolina
Road Through Midnight: A Civil Rights Memorial presents thirty of Jessica Ingram’s photographs of locations of historic significance in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee—in Mississippi alone, Medgar Evers’ backyard in Jackson; the Tallahatchie River, where Emmett Till’s body was found; the site of the murders of civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner in Neshoba County. The exhibition also presents audio oral histories from Ingram’s interviews with family members, local people, investigators, and journalists who witnessed, were impacted by, and remember these events.
Unlike Court Square in Montgomery, there are no markers at most of the places Ingram has documented. As the years pass and the landscape transforms itself in ways both beautiful and banal, all that remains of the events that occurred are the memories and voices of those who lived through them.
Jessica Ingram received her BFA in photography and political science from New York University and her MFA from California College of Arts and Crafts. She is assistant professor in graduate fine arts and undergraduate photography at California College of the Arts, where she chairs the Photography Program. She recently completed work on Hilltop High, a multiyear project about an alternative high school for pregnant teenagers in San Francisco, and she is currently working on Love Rich Land, which examines ideas of power, disappearance, and continuous reconstruction in the American South. Ingram was awarded CENTER’s Santa Fe Prize for A Civil Rights Memorial in 2011.
What if the person, place, or thing that sets your heart strings strumming also sets you apart in some way? What if your happily ever after… wasn’t? We want to hear about unorthodox cravings, unexpected endings, and love stories of all stripes. — Audio Under the Stars creators Jenny Morgan and Elizabeth Friend on “True Romance,” the theme of the upcoming event
Audio Under the Stars—a series of summer-long outdoor listening parties created by alums of the Center for Documentary Studies summer audio institutes—debuted last summer to widespread delight, with curated playlists of most compelling, fun audio pieces. CDS is pleased to continue hosting this summer’s series on Friday, August 28, with True Romance: Love Stories of All Stripes. Scroll down for the remaining series schedule.
Bring your own lawn chair or blanket. Dang Good Dogs will be selling hot dogs, turkey dogs, and veggie dogs all night. Audio Under the Stars is rain or shine. If it’s raining, we’ll be in the auditorium at CDS.
Additionally, the producers of Audio Under the Stars will be on location at the Durham History Hub on Saturday, August 1 to record audio stories of romance for potential use in the August 28 program. You can find more information on the Durham History Hub blog.
Note: Shows are from 8–10 p.m. at the Center for Documentary Studies, in Durham, North Carolina. Free parking. Directions.
Bad Advice and Second Chances
Submissions Deadline: August 11
Show: September 25
Some of us have actually paid cash money for a 1974 Dodge Dart. Tell us your stories about when you listened to your Uncle Leo rather than your common sense and a Consumer Reports review, or any other time you told that small voice in your head to shut up and sit down, and how you’ve lived to tell the tale.
Due to demand, our Continuing Education program is offering a third session of the Intensive Introduction to Documentary Studies course this summer. This intensive, weeklong class is designed for distance students who are pursuing the Certificate in Documentary Arts and fulfills their introductory course requirement, and it is also ideal for any student wishing to get a grasp of the basic history and principles of documentary work.
This course will feature a variety of guest speakers, including photographers, filmmakers, writers, and audio producers. The course will emphasize not only methodologies but also philosophies and ethics of fieldwork in different settings. Students will explore examples of fieldwork and at the final meeting will present project proposals of their own. These proposals may be the beginning of long-term documentary initiatives or simply a means to help decide on the direction of a future project.
“The course expanded my definition of documentary as it relates to my way of interacting with the world. It challenged me to push the boundaries of my own matrix of identities and consider ethical issues while relating to the community that I am documenting. I found the instructors around the center to be very accessible and friendly and feel that I have entered into a nurturing community with both the students and faculty that is a space where I want to continue to grow.”
–Ahmed Selim, Intensive Introduction to Documentary Studies student, July 2014
The remaining sections this summer are listed below. To register for either section, click here.
Section B (Taught by Michelle Lanier)
Sunday, August 9: 5 p.m.–9 p.m.
Monday–Thursday, August 10–13: 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
Friday, August 14: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Section C (Taught by Joy Salyers)
Sunday, August 16: 5 p.m.–9 p.m.
Monday–Thursday, August 17–20: 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
Friday, August 21: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Read more about instructors Michelle Lanier and Joy Salyers here.
Celebrate the success of Student Action with Farmworkers‘ current crop of farmworker activists by joining SAF for their end of summer celebration on August 8. Student Action with Farmworkers—a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a more just agricultural system—has been a partner and documentary collaborator of the Center for Documentary Studies for over twenty years.
Saturday, August 8, 6–10 p.m.
Full Frame Theater and Power Plant Gallery, American Tobacco Campus
318 Blackwell Street, Durham, North Carolina
SAF will honor their student participants, share stories from their work this year, host a theater performance, and show documentary work with farmworkers. The Power Plant Gallery will stay open late for the celebration. A suggested donation of $20 is requested at the door to enjoy locally sponsored appetizers and drinks, children’s activities, traditional music, and dancing.
Suggested donation $20: Please note that donations to the End of Summer Celebration may not tax-deductible.
The Center for Documentary Studies Summer Migrant Project led to the formal founding of SAF in 1992, establishing a new model for blending advocacy with documentary expression. Since then, SAF has engaged thousands of students, farmworker youth, and community members in the farmworker movement.