May 19, 2022: Certificate in Documentary Arts Graduates Present Final Projects in Online Event

The Center for Documentary Studies is proud to recognize Walter Hergt and Evangeline M. Mitchell, students in its continuing education program—CDS Courses—who will each present their final project and receive their Certificate in Documentary Arts in an online event on Thursday, May 19, 2022. 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. Read more about the artists and their final projects below.

Thursday, May 19, 2022, 6–8 p.m. : Please join us on Zoom at this link to honor our Certificate in Documentary Arts graduates and experience their work.

Walter Hergt / Convergence

Still from Walter Hergt's film Convergence shows a little girl set against a background of handwriting

This experimental documentary film invites viewers to consider the tension between memory, nostalgia, and historicization. Drawing from the artist's family archive, the film is composed of scenes filmed by his parents between the early 1970s and the early 1980s, painstakingly digitized by hand from Super8 reels. Against these lush, idyllic scenes of a bygone family life in rural Michigan, the artist introduces fragments of oral history interviews, collected sound, and written documents, to create a discordant and non-linear atmosphere that troubles the on otherwise simplistic nostalgia of the visual landscape. In this way, the film works against—and highlights—the viewer's cultural impulse to meet decontextualized imagery with a romanticized interpretation.

Walter Hergt is a videographer, a photographer, and a multimedia artist. His work is grounded in the oral history principles of reciprocity, narrators not subjects, and elevating lesser-heard voices. The intention of his work is to unsettle and expand social norms and to create vivid representations of peoples' lives, whether personal, social, project, or organizational. Walter has previously worked in print and radio, he holds a graduate degree in Political Science from City University New York, and currently lives in Millerton, New York.




Evangeline M. Mitchell / Becoming Black Lawyers

When the five Black lawyers in Evengeline Mitchell's film set out on their journeys to receive a professional legal education, they did not realize that they would have to struggle against additional battles even more challenging than the rigors of learning the law in a hyper-competitive environment. "Becoming Black Lawyers" follows them as they discover the contradictions of studying in an institution that idealistically represents "justice" for all.

Evangeline M. Mitchell is a social entrepreneur, author/publisher, lawyer, and budding documentary filmmaker. She is a graduate of Prairie View A&M University (a historically Black university), the University of Iowa College of Law, and the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana and raised in Houston, Texas, she currently resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her family.