DocuLab is a donor-funded five-year program that will develop student-faculty documentary work in VCAM.
Students will spend ten weeks both on campus and in the field developing documentary projects, working with faculty, visiting filmmakers, and technicians. Taking advantage of the new filmmaking spaces and equipment in VCAM, the initiative builds on the College’s successful Interdisciplinary Documentary Media Fellows Program (WAKE, Capitalish) and the Hurford Center’s Tuttle Summer Arts Lab (The Pool Movie Project).
Contact: James Weissinger, Associate Director, Hurford Center for the Arts and Humanities and VCAM Operations Manager
Summer DocuLabs Faculty Proposal
Summer DocuLabs invites faculty applications for Summer 2020 projects. Taking advantage of the filmmaking spaces and equipment in VCAM, the donor-funded initiative builds on the College’s successful Interdisciplinary Documentary Media Fellows Program (WAKE, Capitalish) and the Hurford Center’s Tuttle Summer Arts Lab (The Pool Movie Project).
In projects proposed by faculty, student-faculty teams will work within the field and on campus with visiting filmmakers, and other collaborators. If the proposing faculty member needs assistance in finding a filmmaker, the Hurford Center staff can help to identify one prior to application due date. Note: the application must include specific option(s) for filmmaker collaborator, even if this has not been finalized. Students will apply to join the approved project in the fall, with the project taking place during the following summer, where four-five students from multiple disciplines will spend ten weeks working together with a faculty member and the visiting artist.
Summer DocuLab projects may also involve curricular components for student participants the semester prior to the actual filming. Faculty members leading the project may work on a variety of levels, from co-teaching a course, to co-designing/hosting workshops and events, to co-advising the student fellows over the summer on campus or in the field.
Groups will produce ambitious documentary work, guided both by the faculty member, filmmaker, and college staff. The form of the work produced will also be dynamic: In any given summer, the result could be a traditional single-channel documentary, a web documentary, a site-specific public video installation, or a locative media project accessed through smart phones and experienced on a walking tour – the lab-style design of the institute and the diverse resources of the VCAM building will permit this freedom to explore.
Summer DocuLab 2019: The Bicentennial in Philadelphia
Faculty Lead: Thomas Devaney, Department of English
Student Deadline to Apply: Friday, 2/8/19
Info Session: Tuesday, 1/29/19, 4:30 p.m. VCAM 102
For ten weeks during summer 2019, four students will create a documentary centered on the city of Philadelphia in the summer of 1976. The project will take place in Philadelphia with professor Thomas Devaney and assistant Natasha Cohen-Carroll, collaborating with Greenhouse Media artists and filmmakers Matthew Suib and Aaron Igler. The team will conduct archival media research as well as oral history interviews with a cross-section of people from across the city to tell their personal accounts and stories about the summer of 76.
The 200th birthday of the United States was a national event, which had a heightened focus in Philadelphia. A vast regatta of tall ships sailed from around the world up the Delaware River. A team of Conestoga wagons traveled from the west coast to the suburbs of the city in time for July 4th. All of the fire plugs in the city were painted red, white, and blue. The summer also saw an infamous outbreak of Legionnaires Disease before the main celebration. It was the first occasion where a cluster of pneumonia cases had occurred in one place. The spring of 1975 was the exit of the US from Vietnam. President Nixon had resigned in 1974. The country and the city were in need of some upbeat news and all efforts were made to make the Bicentennial an extraordinary celebration. Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo called in the National Guard for fear of protests at Independence Hall on July 4th. Reviews of the Bicentennial were mixed, and yet the memory of the summer of 76 retains a deep hold on the imagination for many Philadelphians.
How has the Bicentennial left its mark the psyche of the city? Our project will be to explore how myth and memory are interwoven in the collective memory. The team will complete the filming and editing process over the course of the summer. The group will produce an ambitious documentary guided both by the faculty member, filmmakers, and college staff. The form of the work is an ensemble of voices and collaged images: many formats can be envisioned, including:
- an installation (multi-channel) format
- public presentation/projection of the work
Because of the innovative work, and the expertise of the Greenhouse Media partners, other “expanded” presentations of the work are possible.
The program is open to Haverford students, including graduating seniors, as well as Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore students majoring at Haverford or those who have otherwise completed significant film-focused coursework in the Tri-Co. Student Fellows will receive a $5000 stipend to cover room, board, and other expenses. Financial aid summer earnings expectations will be covered by the program.
Dizhsa Nabani is a documentary web series that explores the relationship between identity, language, and daily life in the Valley Zapotec community of San Jerónimo Tlacochahuaya.doculab-archive