Lewis Hine Documentary Fellow 2007-2008
Rebecca Herman graduated from Duke in 2005 with a dual major in literature and history, and Spanish. Fluent in Spanish and in Brazilian Portuguese, she has worked on human rights issues for the last three years in Argentina, Chile, Brazil, and Bolivia. Most recently, she finished a short film called "Yo, Si Puedo," about a literacy campaign in Bolivia. Prior to that, Rebecca worked in Argentina with Memoria Abierta, an oral archive of filmed testimonies given by torture survivors, exiles, militants, and family members. Her role was to help Memoria Abierta develop a large documentary graphic exhibit to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the coup.
"In my work I seek to explore social and political issues through individual testimonies," she says. "The lessons that I have been taught by my colleagues abroad, the experience of living and working in a large variety of cultural contexts, and the Spanish and Portuguese that I have learned in my time there will greatly enrich and expand the ways in which I can contribute to the work of my host organization."
For the Fellowship, Rebecca worked with Roca ("rock" in Spanish), a large, dynamic, twenty-year-old community organization based in Chelsea, just north of Boston. Roca works with young, disenfranchised mostly Latino youth (ages 14–24) in neighborhoods in the northern part of Boston and adjoining communities. Roca serves are gang and street youth, young people leaving foster care, dropouts and disengaged youth, pregnant teens and young parents, court-involved youth, and refugees and recent immigrants.