"In March of 1998, George featured an article titled 'The 10 Most Corrupt Cities in the Nation." The article said, 'The crime is high, the living low, and the races segregated in Lake Providence, the seat of East Carroll Parish, the poorest county in the nation.' With that, my small town made an appearance in a world that could never truly understand its secrets. Even as I stand surrounded by them, as they pulse through my veins and define the life I have lived thus far, I am unable to find the source of the secrets that run as deep as the river and are as rich as its soil. Our problems are not skin-deep. There is no one word or action that can change a way of life." Condrey will be spending the summer in Lake Providence "to see for [herself] and show others what photography can say about this community in which [she] was raised." She says, "Where I am unable to go, the camera can. I see the potential for using it to explore what is left unsaid, perhaps what cannot be articulated."
"I am interested in photographing and researching the stories of rural convenience stores in the South, especially those stores which are no longer operational and serve only to remind passersby of what was. Convenience stores and gas stations played a significant role in the history of the South. I want to travel down the old state highways and country roads, seeking the buildings that were once the economic centers of their time. . . . When we moved to Lewisville, North Carolina, my family used to stop at Jones' Grocery and get a cold soda. I remember the unfinished, rough wooden floors in the small, dimly lit room . . . comic books stacked on racks . . . candy. The brilliant red gas pumps have faded, and one must now navigate spider webs to reach the front door. I know my impressions are affected by my experiences and common memory. Regardless, I find a unique visual appeal to the stores, and the story that they tell.
"I propose to create a photo-documentary on the hippy counterculture in Asheville. Hippies today are different from those of the '60s. I want to know how and why. . . . I wish to explore their philosophy and such topics as gender roles, environmental ethics, work ethics, rebellion, drug use, and alternative spirituality. These topics are very broad, and I am only using them as a starting point" for poetic journal writing and photographs that seek to understand those who do not follow "mainstream dress, ideology, and behavior."
"Homeless people are generally ignored or simply overlooked. . . . My project is to record and preserve the stories of [five] homeless individuals through interviews, then augment and express these stories using video and animation. . . . Animation plays a key role in particularizing these stories as opposed to a simple retelling-animation not only illustrates the story's events but highlights and emphasizes important story elements. . . . The interview technique will be simple. Aside from asking the person's name he or she will be asked to tell a story. I wish to capture the experiences, thoughts, and emotions of homeless people so each story will be accepted at face value."
"Following the 2001 collapse of the Argentinean economy, rural areas outside Buenos Aires suffered greatly. . . . unemployment soared to over 20% by 2002 . . . [and] 70% of the country's children under the age of 18 lived in poor or destitute households. The economic collapse has had a significant effect on the Argentine healthcare system and the quality of medical care that patients receive." Sidelnik will be working as an intern with a doctor in the northern province of Chaco. "I envision shadowing the doctor as he makes his rounds with patients in their homes or in the hospital, documenting the condition of the healthcare system through doctors' and patients' faces. In addition, I hope to interview administrators in public and private healthcare areas to get insight into the current state of the healthcare system."
"American culture has produced a cast of notorious characters but perhaps one of the most enduring stereotypes is that of the southern sherriff. This summer I will embark on a photo-documentary project to examine the current role of the southern sherriff and how this changing position represents a changing South. I will study one county sherriff in each southern state . . . and will spend one or two days following them during a normal work day. I will look for sherriffs that fit the traditional stereotypes, but more importantly, I will document women and African Americans who, in increasing numbers, are serving as chief las enforcement officers."
"Who is the dancer and for whom does she dance? . . . During the late-nineteenth century female dancers in India of the devdasi tradition were equated with prostitutes. The woman dancer was vilified and scorned, ostracized by society though her performance in the temples of India had historically been deeply spiritual." In the 1930s classical dance forms began being taught in the gurukul system, in which students looked "after their Gurus, or teachers, by growing food, cooking, cleaning, and earning money for the community through dance performances. In return the Guru offers her protection, knowledge, and training." Srinivasan will be living in a gurukul-"in essence an artistic commune"-and writing about her experiences, as well as researching "the histories and feminisms of dance communes."