Introducing the 2017-2018 Lewis Hine Documentary Fellows
The Center for Documentary Studies is pleased to introduce the 2017-2018 Lewis Hine Documentary Fellows, all of whom will be working with organizations in the New York City area; scroll down for more information on Roxanne Campbell, Jonna McKone, Lauren Mueller, and Rahima Rahi. Founded on the spirit, values, and actions of social documentary photographer Lewis Hine, CDS’s Lewis Hine Documentary Fellows Program connects the talents of young documentarians with community organizations to generate collaborative and community-focused documentary work. Learn more on the program’s blog, and enjoy the Hine Fellows website by former Hine Fellow Natalie Minik that revisits five Hine Fellowship projects during the program’s seven years of working with organization’s in Boston—Hine-Sight.org.
Roxanne R Campbell is a visual artist and media maker. Born in Kingston, Jamaica and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Campbell’s work is heavily influenced by memories of her childhood and her interest in the black diasporic experience, particularly in Jamaica, Haiti, and the United States. Campbell earned her MFA from Duke University in Experimental and Documentary Arts and a BA in Studio Art from the University of Virginia. As a documentary artist, her practice is a combination of photography and experimental video focused on the ways in which representations of black people contribute to the dehumanization and violence against black bodies within their own communities and society at large. She often explores how counter-framing, reimagining, or altering existing representations can also alter the perception of black bodies. Campbell is particularly interested in portraying these counter-narratives visually, at large scales and in varying mediums, in public and non-traditional exhibition spaces. A recent project is Color Bar, an international transmedia documentary that examines concepts of race, representation, and masculinity in relation to societal notions of who and what is “Black.” Campbell has created work in Jamaica, Haiti, Cameroon, South Africa, and across the US. Her work has been shown in galleries, public exhibitions and conferences including the Penn Museum, Horace Williams House, Louise Jones Brown Art Gallery, The Power Plant Gallery, Durham County Public Library and the South African National Gallery.
“The Hine fellowship understands that it is imperative that we document and teach others how to document their own stories. I am humbled by this opportunity to return home to Brooklyn to teach and develop projects with folks living in communities similar to the one I was raised in.”
"What’s explained can be denied, but what’s felt can’t be forgotten" -- Charles Bowden.
Jonna McKone's work explores the way traces of the past become extensions of the present, sometimes grafted onto places or personal stories in ways that remain unseen, hardly seen, misunderstood or buried. With a sense of place and research, her work aims to explore the connection between land and memory, testimony and history, and the ways documentary art is as much about the struggle of individuals to tell stories -- as the story itself.
Jonna earned her MFA in Experimental & Documentary Arts from Duke University in 2014 and her BA from Bowdoin College. Her thesis films Yields and For The Time Being explored absence in a medium that so often expresses presence: an experimental observational film examining economic vestiges embedded in gesture and landscape in a rural region of North Carolina; a film that winds between her father's archives, collective family memory and slippages in understanding across generations. While at Duke, she also worked with photography, oral history, sound, community-based art-making, archival materials and printmaking.
Alongside her documentary practice, Jonna teaches courses and workshops for universities and community-based groups including Johns Hopkins University, Appalshop, Skidmore College, Wide Angle Youth Media, Refugee Youth Project, Louder Than A Bomb and Hidden Voices. She has worked as a radio and video producer/editor. Her audio work has been recognized by the Equal Voice Journalism Fund, the Institute of Museum and Library Services and with two first place awards from the Associated Press.
Her film, photography and audio works have been installed in film festivals museums, galleries and national memorial parks. She was a 2015 Skidmore Storytellers' Institute Fellow and her current film is part of the Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund in Film and Media Studies.
Jonna is grateful to be a Lewis Hine Fellow: "I am honored and excited to have this period of time to facilitate and give shape to the work of young people and alongside them continue to engage deeply in collaboration, social documentary practice and storytelling."
Lauren Mueller is a documentary filmmaker and a recent graduate of the Masters of Fine Arts in Experimental and Documentary Arts at Duke University. She is the recipient of the 2016 Kodak Student Scholarship Gold Award for her docu-fiction piece, The Gibbons of Santa Clarita, which Lauren developed into a feature-length film titled, Huro Huro.
For Lauren, documentary filmmaking is instrumental in facilitating social change and this is what draws her to filmmaking. Lauren believes that in order to make powerful, socially conscious films, she must invest heself emotionally in her subjects and then the work will follow. In order to explore the multi-faceted nature of a subject, Lauren engages different perspectives in relation to one another to show the diversity and range of interpretation and experience. She believes personal stories have the ability to illuminate alternative perspectives that can advocate for change in the public sphere. Her work focuses on the collective voice rather than the singular voices that give rise to specific ideologies. Lauren’s strives to make her films open-ended – posing questions so that the viewer remains active in the viewing process and can draw upon their experiences to formulate their own conclusions.
Lauren began her film career working on a documentary titled Portraits of Sex Workers. The film was used for a conference led by the organization Liberation and Empowerment: Attaining Dignity and Rights (LEADR), which supports sex workers and their children in Bangladesh. In 2013, Lauren worked at the Northwest Film Center located in Portland, Oregon as a teaching assistant, teaching young adults from underserved populations about filmmaking. In the summer of 2016, Lauren received the Felsman Scholarship, which granted her the opportunity to travel to Kolkata, India to work with Asha Niketan, a community affiliated with the L’arche organization that provides support to people with intellectual disabilities. The film discourages labeling and the use of the word, “disabled” and instead, encourages the public, especially the Indian government, to see the strengths and unique qualities of the individuals at Asha Niketan. During her time at Duke, Lauren worked on her thesis, Huro Huro which looks at the conservation of gibbons, the smaller primates, but uses that as a vehicle to more closely examine the cross-section of culture and nature in conservation centers located in California, India and Thailand. The film underscores the disparate perspectives on conservation and raises questions about the effectiveness of varied practices and philosophies.
“I am honored to be selected as a Hine Fellow. I look forward to using my documentary skills to connect with non-profits committed to enriching their communities.”
The multimedia art of Rahima Rahi (she/he/they) functions as a continuous experiment with form, relationships, theory, and identity. Her work spans autobiography, collaborative social documentary, experimental video, installation, reflective/theoretical discourse, and text-based approaches. In her work, Rahi experiments with ways to effectively shift the power she holds as a filmmaker over to the community, while still offering participants the value of her creative and technical support. For Rahi, "the process is the reason for creation” of her autobiographical and biographical experimental art. When practiced in a state of heightened vulnerability, the rituals of production ignite the possibility of healing, liberation, and the reclamation of power.
Rahi is most passionate about working with youth-engaged documentary projects. One of her notable collaborative documentary work is Lakewood Standing Strong that depicts an anti-bullying club founded by students at Lakewood High School in Roseboro, NC. Her short documentary about Young Scholars Summer Research Institute highlights the voices of Durham Public High School students who learned how to conduct their own research for social change through this summer program. She is currently working as a video/film instructor with a group of students at the Governor Morehead High School for the Blind in Raleigh, NC. In her work she is curating and facilitating workshops to engage the students in creating their own creative story telling structures. She is also applying participatory filmmaking method to engage the students in producing their own short documentaries. One of the projects Rahi is currently working on is a video series in which she is collecting stories of young artists under the age of 15 who want to change the world through their passion for art.
Rahi has completed her Certificate in Documentary Arts in the continuing education program at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University (CDS). Since moving to Durham from New York City in 2015, Rahi has produced and directed documentaries and provided videography support for numerous local social justice organizations, including the Durham Solidarity Center, the Inside-Outside Alliance, Durham For All, Jewish Voice for Peace-Triangle NC, and Southerners On New Ground. Rahi is a member of the Durham Artists Movement (DAM) and a co-creator of Art Asylum (a project DAM), a collective dedicated to “building creative pathways and reducing isolation among folks who struggle with mental health and addiction.” In her two and a half years as a Documentary Project Director and Video Editor at North Carolina State Parks, Rahi created official videos for each of the forty state parks in North Carolina.
Rahi is honored to be a recipient of the Lewis Hine Fellowship: “I’m is grateful for the opportunity to return to New York City and reunite with a place where I already have a sense of home. The Hine Fellowship’s support of collaborative documentary work creates a unique opportunity for artists to engage with communities in a genuine and creative way.”
Rahi will be working with Graham Windham at their Manhattanville Cornerstone Community Center
The Hine Program has expanded this year to include four fellows due to an increase in support from our partners. The Lewis Hine Documentary Fellows Program is supported by the Center For Documentary Studies,the Price Family Foundation, and an anonymous donor.