Lewis Hine Documentary Fellow 2005-2006, Project Manager, Instructor
Elena Rue completed the Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) Certificate program offered in conjunction with Duke Continuing Studies. During an intensive semester at CDS in 2001, she completed a number of undergraduate documentary studies courses and was involved with CDS’s Youth Document Durham program and Student Action with Farmworkers, an organization housed at CDS. She spent that following spring semester in Ghana documenting the unique sign language of the isolated deaf community of Adamorobe.
Elena is a 2003 graduate of Kenyon College, where she studied anthropology and photography. While at Kenyon, she combined her interest in photography, farming, and fieldwork through her involvement with the Rural Life Center, which promotes local organic food in Knox County, Ohio, among other activities.
Since graduating Elena has completed internships at the Maine Photographic Workshops and DoubleTake magazine and has worked with photographers Wing Young Huie, Constantine Manos, and Lisa Kessler.
Elena’s documentary work focuses on adoption and the changing face of the American family. Included in this body of work are international, interracial, single, and gay and lesbian adoptive families in Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio, and North Carolina.
As a Lewis Hine Fellow, Elena worked with Hope for Children in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, beginning in January 2006. Hope for Children young children affected by HIV/AIDS by ensuring they have access to basic services, such as food, shelter, education, and medical care. Elena receives additional support for her documentary work in Ethiopia from the Jessica Jennifer Cohen Foundation.