CDS Announces 2019–2020 Lewis Hine Documentary Fellows

The Center for Documentary Studies is pleased to introduce the 2019–2020 Lewis Hine Documentary Fellows, all of whom will be working with community-based organizations in New York City; scroll down for more information on Mariana Calvo, Alex Cunningham, Katie King, and Azzan Quick. Founded on the spirit, values, and actions of social documentary photographer Lewis Hine, CDS’s Lewis Hine Documentary Fellows Program connects documentary artists 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.

Photograph by Mariana Calvo
Photograph by Mariana Calvo

Mariana Calvo is a writer, photographer, and storyteller originally from Mexico City, but currently based in New York City. She graduated from Duke in 2017 with degrees in History and Public Policy. During her time at Duke, she did extensive research on how violence and displacement uniquely affect indigenous communities on the US-Mexico border, in Guatemala, and in the Boston area. Upon graduation, she received the Benenson Award in the Art Award to do a multimedia project titled “Cocaine: How the Movement of a Drug Moved Millions” in Medellin, Colombia. While in Colombia, she photographed and interviewed dozens of survivors of the conflict in Medellin and in the communities they were displaced from. In November of 2018, she returned to Colombia to work as a freelance journalist and photographer for Colombia Reports, a local media outlet to cover mass displacement caused by the technical failures at Colombia’s largest dam, the rise of activist murders, and the impacts of the cocaine trade on civilian populations. She has since published a series of articles on the Mexican community in New York City for Roads & Kingdoms.

To support her freelance work, Mariana works as speechwriter and staffer at the Mexican Consulate in New York City where she helps shed light on the challenges faced by her community at a time of great anti-immigrant sentiment. She is fascinated by stories and how they can be used as a vehicle for social change. As a Hine Fellow Mariana plans to continue her work as a researcher, oral historian and writer as well as to work in photography and audio.

Mariana will be working with Brooklyn Workforce Innovations.
Her work can be found at: www.marianacalvoboullosa.com

Frame from 16mm film by Alex Cunningham
Still from 16mm film by Alex Cunningham


After Michelangelo died, someone found in his studio a piece of paper on which he had written a note to his apprentice, in the handwriting of his old age: "Draw, Antonio, draw, Antonio, draw and do not waste time." - Annie Dillard, The Writing Life.

Alex Cunningham chooses to interpret the world through the medium of the moving image; he is a filmmaker. His works have varied in mode from documentary, narrative, experimental, installation, performative, and interactive as well as in media, from 16mm film to VHS to HD video and everything in between. What is explored in his films tend to rest their concern and interest on humanity’s place in this crazy world. Sometimes that means an exploration of personal, micro histories of trauma, change, and growth. Sometimes his films turn to the natural world for answers on the mysteries of life. They may focus on billboards, aliens, poetry, rising oceans, love, and even cinema itself. An upcoming film will trace the US Census Bureau’s practice of plotting a “Mean Center of Population” throughout the nation’s history, and the populations and peoples ignored, forgotten, and harmed by their practices.

Alex has made a fair amount of his work in India, and travels there as often as he can to engage deeper with different places, histories, and people. He has also worked as a professional cinematographer on documentaries and narrative film productions. Alex works too in curating and programming the work of others at galleries, festivals, and screening series. His own films have shown at film festivals across the country and internationally.

Earning his MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts from Duke University in 2016, Alex Cunningham quickly found a loving home in teaching film to undergraduate and graduate students at Duke and UNC Chapel Hill. He has taught a wide variety of courses from the theoretical, historical, aesthetic, and technical and loved every minute of it. As a Hine Fellow, Alex looks forward to taking his love of teaching and collaboration out of the university classroom and into the community, where the stories of every individual involved create the tapestry of life.

Alex will be working with the Center for Court Innovation.
To see his work, please visit: https://alexandercunningham.com/

Still from video by Katie King
Still from video by Katie King

Katie King is a multidisciplinary documentary artist and an educator.

She holds an MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts from Duke University and a BA in English from The University of Georgia. Before and beyond that, she holds an abiding fascination with stories. That fascination articulates itself as an impulse to create, experiment, and investigate. Often, her work focuses on themes of family, communication, and mental health and spans film, photography, audio, web, and text-based mediums. 

Teaching and collaboration are integral to her practice. Katie has worked as an adjunct instructor for UNC-Chapel Hill’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media as well as Duke University's Information + Science Studies and Arts of the Moving Image programs. In these positions, she has taught a variety of storytelling-based courses ranging from Contemporary Documentary Film to Web-Based Multimedia Communications to Digital Storytelling. In every course, in every class, she has learned tremendously from her students. 

Her current research interests include how we navigate internal worlds, unpack intimate struggles, and talk to people—both others and ourselves.

Katie will be working with the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center.
To see her work, please visit: katiekingprojects.com

Still from video by Azzan Quick
Still from video by Azzan Quick

Azzan Quick (they/he) is a filmmaker, photographer, and visual artist based out of Durham, NC. Quick’s work focuses on self discovery, identity, and the concept of becoming. As a black trans person, they grapple with the concepts of identity and intersectionality, both in their personal life and through their work. They use visual art as a medium for processing and exploring the intersections of blackness and queerness, specifically, what it means to embody both of these experiences in a society that is based in white supremacy and cisheteronormativity. “Our people are conjurors of culture. We are constantly creating new forms of expression and existence, yet we are often denied basic human kindness and recognition in return,” Quick says.

Social justice and equity are also major themes in Quick’s work. As an artist in the movement, they seek to bring light to and spark conversations about the many injustices experienced by black and brown people in the United States.

Quick is a graduate of North Carolina Central University and a certificate graduate at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. Their work spans from documentary, experimental, narrative, conceptual, and socially engaged pieces. They have worked on several projects including ‘Translucent’, a short film dealing with Quick stumbling their way through self discovery. In the film, they document their struggles and triumphs exploring their gender identity and figuring out unapologetic ways to explain it to friends and family. The film was an official selection for the 2019 Black Star Film Festival.  

Quick believes that art is the vehicle that will carry stories of queerness, blackness, and the movement for future generations. They believe in the power of storytelling in all its forms and what it can do for the autonomy of diverse communities and young people.

Azzan will be working with DreamYard.
To see their work, please visit: https://briamcneill.wixsite.com/amcneillfilms