Dec. 3, 2021: Certificate in Documentary Arts Graduates Present Final Projects in Online Event

The Center for Documentary Studies is proud to recognize Marie Bongiovanni and Cathia Friou, students in its continuing education program (CDS Courses) who will receive their Certificate in Documentary Arts and present their final project in an online event on December 3, 2021. Filmmaker Randy Benson, a longtime CDS Courses instructor, worked with these students in a Final Project Seminar as they completed their certificate program of study and substantial documentary work.

Friday, December 3, 6–8 p.m.: Please join us on Zoom at this link to honor our students' accomplishments as Fall 2021 CDS Certificate in Documentary Arts graduates and experience their work; read more about the artists and their final projects below.

Marie Bongiovanni / Curve by Curve


"This project originated in a meeting with the NC Audio Group in March 2020. Group participants were encouraged to record an interesting sound in the environment, which soon after the outbreak of Covid-19 in the states had for many grown starkly constricted. As a result, instead of venturing elsewhere, I went into our garage and recorded the sound of the engine on my Triumph Bonneville T100.
To complement the recording of my motorcycle’s engine, I decided to record myself describing aspects of my experience during the pandemic, and in the process created the first draft of an audio documentary.  As for many others, a huge aspect of adapting to the pandemic involved dealing with uncertainty, and that aspect of the story piqued the interest of Roxy Todd, a producer at West Virginia Public Broadcasting. With her coaching and that of Elizabeth Friend, one of the founders of Audio Under the Stars, I converted my closet into a recording studio to enhance the voiceover. The revised audio documentary, Curve by Curve, aired on WVPB’s program Inside Appalachia in October 2020 and then again later that year.
This final project builds on the audio documentary that aired on WVPB and draws on skills acquired in Hearing is Believing and Making It Sing, summer intensive workshops led by John Biewen at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.

Marie Bongiovanni is a Philadelphia native who moved to the Blue Ridge Mountains after the color blue helped to save her life. She splits her time between Boone and Chapel Hill, and is earning a certificate at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. Through photographs and audio documentaries, she aims to portray the beauty and healing power of the natural world. Her work was featured in The Enveloping Landscape: A Contemplative Photographic Journey at the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville, and in Pieces of Light, A Six Feet Photography Project at the Durham Arts Council in conjunction with Click! Photography Festival in Durham, NC.


 Cathia Friou / The Keepers & The Kept: Weaving Through the Cloistered World of Female Incarceration


Photo by Cathia Friou.

The Keepers & The Kept: Weaving Through the Cloistered World of Female Incarceration is a creative nonfiction essay that explores the experience of female incarceration, gives language to the problem of dehumanization behind the wall, and grapples with whether and how incarceration can offer healing.

Cathia Friou is a writer and the author of Rock Paper Scissors: Scenes from a Charmed Divorce. Formally trained as a leadership coach and mediator, she is an ardent devotee of self-awareness and courageous conversations. Cathia has two adult daughters and lives in Charlotte, NC. Please visit