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    Nature Photographer James Balog to Receive Duke LEAF Award

    April 10th, 2014
    James Balog. Photo courtesy of Dogwoof.

    James Balog. Photo courtesy of Dogwoof.

    Award-winning nature photographer James Balog, who was featured in the acclaimed documentary Chasing Ice and has exhibited work in more than a hundred museums and galleries worldwide, will be on campus to receive the 2014 Duke LEAF Award for Lifetime Environmental Achievement in the Fine Arts on Saturday, April 12.

    Saturday, April 12, 2 p.m.
    Griffith Film Theater, Bryan Center
    Duke University West Campus
    125 Science Dr., Durham, North Carolina
    Directions

    Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment will present the LEAF Award to Balog during a 2 p.m. ceremony in Griffith Film Theater, located in the Bryan Center on West Campus.The event is free and open to the public. Tickets—limited to two per person—are required, and can be picked up at the Duke University Box Office in Bryan Student Center. A $6 transaction fee will be applied to all orders placed by phone (919-684-4444) or online. Additional information is available here.

    Best known for his dramatic photos and time-lapse videos documenting the rapid melting of ancient glaciers as a result of climate change, Balog has been a leader in photographing and artistically interpreting the natural environment for three decades. He and his Extreme Ice Survey team were featured in the internationally acclaimed 2012 documentary Chasing Ice—winner of the Nicholas School Environmental Award at that year’s Full Frame Documentary Film Festival—and in the 2009 NOVA special Extreme Ice. He is the author of ICE: Portraits of Vanishing Glaciers and seven other books.

    The Duke LEAF has been given annually since 2009 to an artist whose work lifts the human spirit by conveying our profound connections to the Earth, inspiring others to help forge a more sustainable future for all. Past recipients are Robert Redford, Jackson Browne, Barbara Kingsolver, John Sayles, and Alexander McCall Smith.

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      “An Everyday Affair” Exhibit of Eastman Kodak Ads Opens at CDS

      April 10th, 2014

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      “The idea gradually dawned on me that what we were doing was not merely making dry plates, but that we were starting out to make photography an everyday affair.” —George Eastman, founder of the Eastman Kodak Company

      A new exhibit at the Center for Documentary Studies curated by CDS exhibitions intern Lisa McCarty surveys 101 years of Eastman Kodak ads to examine the ideology of simplicity and pleasure that the company sold to America with its products. Lisa McCarty on An Everyday Affair: Selling the Kodak Image to America, 1888–1989: “Between 1888 and 1975, the Eastman Kodak Company invented the first handheld camera, roll film, 35mm negative and slide films, the first line of color film for amateurs, and the first digital camera, transforming the once costly and cumbersome pursuit of image-making into an inexpensive, spontaneous pursuit.

      An Everyday Affair: Selling the Kodak Image to America, 1888–1989
      Through September 13, 2014
      Center for Documentary Studies, Porch and University Galleries
      1317 W. Pettigrew St., Durham, North Carolina
      Directions

      “Alongside their technical advances, Eastman Kodak broke new ground in commercial marketing. By pioneering the use of print advertisements featuring persuasive slogans and romanticized illustrations, Kodak convinced consumers that photographing their daily lives was both a joyful pastime and a familial duty, and they made it as easy as pressing a button.”

      An Everyday Affair features reproductions of Eastman Kodak advertisements from the Wayne P. Ellis Collection of Kodakiana and the J. Walter Thompson Company Domestic Advertisements Collection, held in the Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History at Duke University’s David M. Rubenstein Library, as well as a selection of vintage Kodak cameras.

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        Student-Produced Video Will Screen at the Lumbee River Independent Film Festival

        April 8th, 2014
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        Still from the short documentary video, “Lakota John: the Next Generation”

        On April 10, the documentary short “Lakota John: the Next Generation,” produced by Center for Documentary Studies undergraduates Stephanie Chen, Emily Mendenhall, and Nikki Whang in a spring 2013 course, will be screened at the 2014 Lumbee River Independent Film Festival.

        The students were introduced to John Lakota Locklear, a 17-year-old Native American blues artist, through the Music Maker Next Generation Artist Program, which provides mentorship for young artists performing Southern roots music. Lakota John, who plays bottleneck slide guitar and harmonica, is often accompanied by his mother Tonya on washboard, his sister Layla on vocals, his father “Sweet Papa” John on guitar, and other local musicians. In making the film, the students spent time with this talented group, known as “Lakota John & Kin,” at the Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival last spring.

        The 2nd annual Lumbee River Independent Film Festival will be held on April 10th and 11th at the Givens Performing Arts Center on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. This year, in addition to showcasing work by students and independent filmmakers, the festival will feature the premiere of “Voices of the Lumbee,” a documentary about the Lumbee Tribe of the North Carolina coastal plains region.

        The film was produced in the course “Multimedia Documentary” (spring 2013) taught by Christopher Sims at the Center for Documentary Studies, in partnership with Music Maker Relief Foundation and Duke Service-Learning. After being introduced to blues artists through Music Maker Relief Foundation, the thirteen students worked in groups and individually to interview and film artists, edit their footage, and create multimedia pieces to tell about the lives of these musicians.

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          Sisters in Cinema: Yvonne Welbon on Her Archive of African American Women’s Media Production

          April 7th, 2014
          Yvonne Welbon, creator of the Sisters in Cinema archive

          Yvonne Welbon, creator of the Sisters in Cinema archive

          At an event on April 15, Humanities Writ Large Visiting Faculty Fellow Yvonne Welbon will speak about the origins and present some of the contents of her Sisters in Cinema archive, likely one of the largest single collections of African American women’s media production in the United States.

          Tuesday, April 15, 12 p.m.
          Center for Documentary Studies auditorium
          1317 W. Pettigrew St., Durham, North Carolina

          Welbon has been amassing the archive for more than two decades, to date: over one hundred hours of videotaped interviews and transcripts, hundreds of films, videotapes and DVDs directed by African American women, and numerous boxes of related artifacts that include posters, photos, drafts of screenplays, works in-progress cuts, director’s cuts, festival programs, box office reports, promotional postcards, journal and newspaper articles, buttons, T-shirts, and other memorabilia. During her year at Duke, Welbon has worked to analyze, catalog, and document the archive and is also working on a book related to the project.

          Yvonne Welbon holds an MFA in Film and Video from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a doctorate in Radio/TV/Film from Northwestern University.  Among a long list of awards, in 2012, she received a Mellon – Future of Minority Studies Postdoctoral Mentoring Fellowship to work on an essay for her book project, Sisters in the Life: 25 Years of “Out” African American Lesbian Media-making (1986 – 2011), with Sandy Darity, Professor and Chair of African and African-American Studies at Duke.

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            “Beasts of the Southern Wild” Wraps up 2014 Ethics Film Series

            April 7th, 2014
            Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis) in "Beasts of the Southern Wild"

            Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis) in “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

            This year’s Ethics Film Series at Duke University explores the idea of a “New South,” featuring documentary and narrative films that grapple with the realities of southern life and the tensions between social progress and persistent inequalities. Screenings and post-film discussions are free and open to the public; refreshments and parking passes are provided.

            Monday, April 14, 7 p.m.
            Griffith Film Theater, Bryan Center

            Duke University West Campus
            125 Science Dr., Durham, North Carolina
            Directions

            The series wraps up with Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild, which was nominated for four Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Actress in a Leading Role (Quvenzhané Wallis, who at age nine was this category’s youngest-ever nominee). Faced with both her hot-tempered father’s fading health and melting ice-caps that flood her ramshackle bayou community and unleash ancient aurochs, six-year-old Hushpuppy must learn the ways of courage and love. Watch a trailer below:

            The Ethics Film Series is sponsored by the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University in conjunction with Duke’s Screen/Society,  Center for Documentary Studies, and Program in the Arts of the Moving Image.

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              Submit to THE FENCE Photo Competition

              April 7th, 2014
              PHOTOVILLE, Brooklyn, New York, June 2012. Photograph by Stefan Falke.

              PHOTOVILLE, Brooklyn, New York, June 2012. Photograph by Stefan Falke.

              THE FENCE, is a photo competition and summer-long, outdoor exhibition that invites photographers from around the world to explore and define the meaning of community across cultural boundaries and geographical lines. Now in its third year, THE FENCE returns to the Brooklyn Bridge Park Greenway and Rose F. Kennedy Greenway in Boston and adds a new, third location on the Atlanta BeltLine in cooperation with Atlanta Celebrates Photography. 

              Photographers of all levels are invited to submit their best series of images that capture the essence of “community” and fit into one or more of the competition categories: HOME, STREETS, PEOPLE, CREATURES, PLAY, before the April 9, 2014, deadline. 

              Center for Documentary Studies publishing and awards director Alexa Dilworth is one of thirty jurors who will be selecting forty photographers from around the world and curating their images for exhibition. “What I love about THE FENCE is how it takes photography out into the open,” Dilworth says. “Rather than a fence closing things in, this is about using boundaries to open up the landscape, literally and figuratively, and creating opportunities to look at images in new ways, in truly expansive contexts—large scale, large spaces. THE FENCE underscores the social aspect of photography—that witnessing is a community.” To read more of the interview, click here.

               

               

               

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                Home Movie Day Durham 2014, April 19 at CDS

                April 4th, 2014

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                Join celebrated film archivist Skip Elsheimer, founder of A/V Geeks, as he hosts Home Movie Day Durham 2014 at the Center for Documentary Studies. Home Movie Day is an annual worldwide celebration of amateur films and filmmaking held at numerous local venues around the globe—people convene to meet local film archivists, find out about the long-term benefits of film versus video and digital media, and most important, watch old family films (and learn how best to preserve them).

                Saturday April 19, 1–4 p.m.
                Center for Documentary Studies
                1317 West Pettigrew St., Durham, North Carolina
                Directions 

                Anyone can participate at Home Movie Day, whether or not you have 8mm, Super8mm, or 16mm home movies (sorry, no video or slides) to share. Participants can win prizes playing home movie bingo, and equipment provided by A/V Geeks Transfer Services will allow participants to get a free transfer of their film. The event is free and open to the public.

                Home Movie Day is co-sponsored by the Center for Documentary Studies and AV Geeks Transfer Services.

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                  Events with Photographers Vincent Cianni and Mariette Pathy Allen

                  April 3rd, 2014
                  Photographs by Vincent Cianni and Mariette Pathy Allen

                  Photographs by Vincent Cianni and Mariette Pathy Allen

                  Duke University’s Archive of Documentary Arts has partnered with the Center for Documentary Studies, Daylight Books, the Sallie Bingham Center, and SPECTRE Arts to bring documentary photographers Vincent Cianni and Mariette Pathy Allen to Durham for a series of talks, presentations, and conversations, April 23–25, culminating with a book signing and exhibition of work to celebrate the release of Allen and Cianni’s monographs, TransCuba and Gays in the Military, respectively. Allen focuses on the transgender community of Cuba, especially its growing visibility and acceptance in a transitioning country; Cianni portrays gay and lesbian veterans and service members of the U.S. military who served in silence. (Cianni’s We Skate Hardcore: Photographs from Brooklyn’s Southside, was published by the Center for Documentary Studies and New York University Press in 2004.)

                  Wednesday, April 23, 12 p.m.
                  A conversation with the artists
                  Center for Documentary Studies auditorium
                  1317 W. Pettigrew Street, Durham, North Carolina
                  Lunch will be provided

                  Thursday, April 24, 6 p.m.
                  Artists’ talk and presentation
                  SPECTRE Arts patio
                  1004 Morning Glory Ave., Durham, North Carolina

                  Friday, April 25, 6 p.m.
                  Book signing and exhibit opening
                  Daylight Project Space
                  121 West Margaret Ln., Hillsborough, North Carolina

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                    “One Place” Exhibit Opens at the Crealdé School of Art

                    April 2nd, 2014
                    Trailways bus station, 1978. Photograph by Paul Kwilecki.

                    Trailways bus station, 1978. Photograph by Paul Kwilecki.

                    An exhibit of photographs from the book One Place: Paul Kwilecki and Four Decades of Photographs from Decatur County, Georgia will be on view at the Crealdé School of Art  in Winter Park, Florida, through June 29, 2014. At an opening event on April 4, editor Tom Rankin will give a talk and sign copies of the book, followed by a blues performance. Click here for more information about the event.

                    One Place was published to wide acclaim by the University of North Carolina Press and the Center for Documentary Studies in spring 2013 as part of the Documentary Arts and Culture series. (Click here for a story and slideshow of images that ran on Lens, the New York Times photography blog.) The book includes more than two hundred black-and-white images taken in and around Bainbridge, Georgia, by self-taught artist Paul Kwilecki (1928–2009), who lived his entire life in the community. One Place also includes an introduction by Rankin and selected prose by Kwilecki, musings about the people and places depicted in his photographs.

                    Following its run at Crealdé, the One Place show will travel to the Ogden Museum of Southern Art at the University of New Orleans (July 24–September 21); the exhibit debuted at the Center for Documentary Studies in March 2013.

                    A photographer, filmmaker, and folklorist, Tom Rankin has been documenting and interpreting American culture for nearly twenty-five years. He is the director of Duke University’s MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts.

                    The Paul Kwilecki Photographs and Papers Collection is held in the Archive of Documentary Arts at the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University.

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                      Reception and Artist’s Talk with “My White Friends” Photographer Myra Greene

                      April 2nd, 2014
                      "The Ws, Chicago, Illinois (2008)." Photograph by Myra Greene.

                      “The Ws, Chicago, Illinois (2008).” Photograph by Myra Greene.

                      The Center for Documentary Studies will host Myra Greene at an event for the exhibit My White Friends, the photographer’s series of “racial identity portraits” in which her subjects were “manicured into a space and provided an opportunity to respond to the idea of being imaged for their race.” The exhibit is on view at CDS through May 17, 2014; click the link for a slideshow of images and an interview with Myra Greene.

                      My White Friends
                      Wednesday, April 9, 6–9 p.m.
                      6 p.m. Reception
                      7 p.m. Artist’s talk and book signing
                      Center for Documentary Studies, Juanita Kreps Gallery

                      1317 W. Pettigrew St., Durham, North Carolina
                      Directions

                      When Greene started thinking about how an art object can commodify race—she has often used black and brown bodies, often her own, in her work—she realized in conversations with white friends on the topic that they had very different notions of racial identity than her own; one friend remarked that he really didn’t think about whiteness. “I had never considered this was possible,” says Greene. In the end, though, she realized his position “made absolute sense. Whiteness is commodified all the time…and fed back to us as the definition of ‘normal.’ Everything else is organized around that normal.” The portraits in My White Friends are co-constructions with her friends that capture the individual characteristics that make them feel decidedly “white.” Greene says that some people see the images as mundane, because at first glance “they appear as something one sees every day. But if you shift your view a bit, they call into question a lot of bigger concerns about how we describe, and then think about, racial identity.” 

                      Myra Greene is an associate professor of photography at Columbia College Chicago. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.; the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City; and the New York Public Library. My White Friends was published by Kehrer Verlag in 2012.

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