Andrea Patiño 2012-2013

Andrea Patiño Contreras, a native from Bogota, Colombia, graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in cultural anthropology and a certificate in policy journalism. While at Duke, Andrea became deeply fascinated by photography, both as a practice and as a theoretical subject. She engaged in multiple photo documentary projects. In 2010, as a recipient of the John Hope Franklin Student Documentary Award from the Center of Documentary Studies at Duke, Andrea photographed slave castles in Ghana and explored the relationship between these spaces, tourists and locals. A year later she traveled to the West Bank, Palestine, as the photography intern for Students of the World. There, she documented the work of Tomorrow’s Youth Organization, an NGO that works with Palestinian women and children. Simultaneously, through the Visual Studies Fellowship at Duke University, she conducted research about the role of photography in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  This culminated in her senior thesis, which examines the role of photography in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and its potential to become an alternative political platform.

At Duke, Andrea combined her profound passion for photography and storytelling with civic engagement. This interest took her to Apopka, Florida, where she worked with undocumented immigrants. She has also written for different student publications about immigration and race, topics that she feels passionate about.

Regarding the Lewis Hine Documentary Fellowship, Andrea says, “Photography has given me a more nuanced understanding of the world and has made me realize that it is the human connections that this medium facilitates that remain most vibrant in our hearts and minds. This wonderful opportunity will allow me to take this belief even further: I want to explore how photographs can effectively trigger tangible changes in our society.”

Andrea is working with RAW Artworks in Lynn, MA. To follow Andrea’s personal blog about her fellowship, visit:

Indaia Whitcombe 2011-2012

Indaia Whitcombe, a graduate in sociocultural anthropology from Bennington College in Vermont, brings to the Hine fellowship a strong commitment to and impressive experience with humanitarian causes. Over the last six years, Indaia has helped educate young people about HIV/AIDS in Kenya, worked with the Hopi through a Headstart program in Arizona, conducted fieldwork with Berber agropasturalists in Morocco, and worked as a teacher in Namibia and, most recently, in India. She has brought her photographic eye to all of these experiences. Over the last year, she has been working toward her certificate in documentary studies at Duke, concentrating on photography and audio. Indaia will work with the South Boston Boys and Girls Club. She says, “This fellowship would in every way support and contribute to my future goals: to create documentary work that is concerned with the betterment of humanity; illuminate issues that have been overlooked or unrealized; and in doing so, to encourage necessary action for change.”

Chris Fowler 2011-2012

Christopher Fowler, who received a master’s degree in folklore this spring from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has taken several writing and photography courses at CDS over the last two years. Having grown up in rural eastern North Carolina, an area heavily impacted by industrial agriculture, Chris’ master’s thesis was an ethnographic study of one eastern North Carolina farmer who is moving toward a more traditional agriculture, that is to say a type of agriculture that is more responsible, equitable, and sustainable.

Due to the quality and depth of his work, Chris was invited to be a teaching assistant for Lehman Brady professor Mike Wiley and CDS director Tom Rankin. Chris will travel to Boston to work with The Food Project, an organization that engages young people in personal and social change through sustainable agriculture. Chris says, “Most of my work thus far has focused on rural and southern issues. The Hine fellowship offers me the opportunity to test the waters of a northeastern, urban environment. I believe that being pushed out of one’s comfort zone is imperative for intellectual and creative growth.”

For more about Chris’s fellowship, visit:

Victoria Fleischer 2010-2011

Victoria Fleischer came to the Hine Fellowship through her undergraduate work at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke. She graduated in spring 2010 with a major in public policy and a Certificate in Documentary Studies.

Victoria has had a broad range of volunteer experiences in her home city of New York, in Durham, and in civic engagement placements in Paris, France, and Cape Town, South Africa. Her love for photography began while at the Dalton School in New York, where she was also an accomplished dancer and choreographer. While there, she spent considerable time working with the Citizen’s Committee for Children, advocating for education, housing, health care, and juvenile justice for children in the Bronx.

While at Duke, Victoria continued to hone her expertise in photography and then began adding audio to create multimedia presentations. In preparation for a DukeEngage placement in South Africa, she added skills in video. While in South Africa, she worked closely with photographer Paul Weinberg, whose work was instrumental in garnering international support against apartheid. This experience, along with Duke classes in public policy and documentary, revealed in very tangible ways, “how art could help advocate and effect change.”

Victoria’s fellowship was with College Bound Dorchester where she shot hundreds of images for their communications materials, including an essay for their Annual Report. She had an exhibit at College Bound in at the end of her fellowship and her work is on permanent display in their offices. Victoria also produced four video portraits of individuals who work at College Bound.

For more information on Victoria’s work:

Jennifer Carpenter 2010-2011

Jennifer Carpenter completed the Certificate in Documentary Arts at the Center for Documentary Studies in 2009 while pursuing her B.A. in journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While at UNC, she produced more than thirty documentary pieces on subjects ranging from an Appalachian clog-off to the Golden Olympics. Her final certificate project at CDS, “The American Dragon,” is a video portrait of a small-town professional wrestler and is available on, where she worked as an undergraduate. Past story assignments have included the election of interim president Kgalema Motlanthe for ETV News in South Africa, as well as Vice President Joseph Biden’s Inaugural walk for the Washington Post.

While at UNC, Jennifer was recognized as one of the top 25 journalism students in the country. On a Fulbright scholarship in Tirana, Albania, she produced multimedia work on Albanian youth and politics, as well as worked on various multimedia pieces for the United Nations Children’s Fund.

About her motivation for working in documentary, Jennifer says, “I am drawn to unconventional stories of exceptional human struggle, passion, and eccentricity. Each person my camera encounters infuses new awareness into my life. I am a collection of their quotes, a reflection of their example, and an expression of their stories.”

For her fellowship, Jennifer worked with the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center (BCNC). She made hundreds of images, produced three audio interviews for StoryCorps (, and produced six videos for BCNC programs, some of which were shown on WGBH. At the end of her fellowship she produced two large projects: The Alphabet Project, working collaboratively with children and community, and Generation Dance, working with retired ballroom dancers. Jennifer’s Alphabet Project in on permanent display at BCNC and her Generation Dance exhibit is traveling to different locations..



Erika Simon 2009-2010

Erika Simon has a B.A. (with honors) in English from Earlham College in Indiana, an M.A. in communication studies from UNC – Chapel Hill, and significant experience as an archivist, instructor, oral historian, and filmmaker.

She received her Certificate in Documentary Arts from the Center for Documentary Studies in 2006. For her final project, she produced a short film, “Gemini World,” which won the Audience Award at the Carrboro Film Festival in 2006.

Erika has served as editor on numerous film projects, including Green Jobs Revolution; Looking Back: Brown Versus the Board of Education; Levante: Theater for Social Change; A New Kind of Listening; Hearts & Mines, and many others. She contributed to the radio series North Carolina Voices: Understanding Poverty. She has taught video production and editing at Duke, Wofford College (South Carolina), University of Wisconsin-Madison, the North Carolina Folklife Institute, and other places. Erika was awarded the Martha Nell Hardy Award for Outstanding Teaching by UNC. She regularly receives among the highest reviews among instructors at the Center for Documentary Studies.

Erika came to documentary studies after seeing her own experience reflected in a documentary project that shattered stereotypes. “Having a lesbian mom was always something that made me feel like an outsider, even in the gay community. I knew ‘my story’ wasn’t the only one like it, and seeing a whole traveling photo-text exhibit about families like mine was empowering and provided an occasion for community dialogue.”

Erika worked with The City School in Boston. Founded in 1987, the City School works with more than 800 youths from across the region each year to provide the skills and challenging experiences needed to foster the next generation of leaders.

For more information on Erika’s fellowship, visit:

Anne Weber 2009-2010

Anne Weber received her B.A. in art (cum laude) from Yale University. A photographer and a painter, she has exhibited work in the U.S. and abroad, and has been awarded a number of grants and residencies, including a Vermont Studio Center residency, Ellen Battel Stoeckel Fellowship, Wooden Fish Fellowship (Japan), Morse Traveling Fellowship, and Louis Sudler Grant. She has worked on documentary projects examining the impact of the Three Gorges Dam in China as well as the rise and fall of the oil industry in southeastern Illinois.

Anne completed her Certificate in Documentary Arts at the Center for Documentary Studies in 2009. For her final project, she offered her services as a wedding photographer at the Wake County Courthouse in North Carolina, providing participating couples a copy of their portrait free of charge. Each couple filled out a basic questionnaire in which they provided a snapshot of who they are and why they were there. “I became interested in how marriage is and has been defined legally, as well as how people define marriage for themselves: as a spiritual union, a legally binding procedure, a proclamation of love, a passport to a new life, or something else entirely,” she says. To see images from this project, visit: Anne hopes to continue this work in several states where marriage is defined in various terms.

For her Hine fellowship, Anne worked with Inquilinos Boricuas en Accion (IBA) in 2009. She produced hundreds of images for IBA’s archive and communications materials, and gathered historical materials to help them tell their story. She produced two large exhibits “Somos Villa Victoria (Portraits From Parcel 19),” which was exhibited at IBA and a second exhibit, “The Geography of Marriage,” in which she photographed couples getting married in the Boston Courthouse and the Raleigh courthouse. This work was exhibited at Duke and can be seen online:


Christina Wegs 2008-2009

Christina Wegs comes to the Hine program with fourteen years of experience in public health, social work, and participatory education in the United States and internationally. She received a dual master’s degree in social work and public health from the University of North Carolina in 2001. For the past seven years, she has worked with international reproductive health and HIV/AIDS prevention and care programs, including programs in Botswana, Vietnam, and Uganda.

“I am looking for more effective ways to advocate for policy and program reform, and for more creative and inclusive ways to partner with individuals and communities,” she says. “I am especially interested in collaborative documentary work, which enables people to tell their own stories, in their own voices. This work helps communities to define their own priorities, and can be a powerful tool for initiating dialogue and action for positive social change.”

Christina completed her Certificate in Documentary Studies in 2008. During her time at CDS, she partnered with a public school teacher who uses Literacy Through Photography methods in her classroom, as well as worked on an oral history project with a local immigrant rights advocate. Her final project was an audio and photographic portrait of a visual artist, documenting his reflections on healing and transformation after a brain surgery paralyzed the left side of his body.

Christina worked with the Hyde Square Task Force in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. The organization began as an effort to reverse the trend of youth violence and heavy drug use in the Hyde/Jackson Square area. After several years, residents realized that significant changes would be possible only through sustained preventative measures that focused on developing the skills of local youth and building positive relationships among youth, families, and all residents. Hyde Square now serves more than 320 young people on a daily basis and more than 800 each year.

For more information on Christina’s fellowship, visit:

Gretchen Ferber 2008-2009

Gretchen Ferber graduated from Duke University in 2007 with a major in religion and a minor in visual arts. While at Duke, she completed several documentary photography projects including one, The Diversity of Spirituality Through Photography and Written Word, which was exhibited outside Duke President Brodhead’s office in 2007.

During her undergraduate education, Gretchen studied abroad and worked with underprivileged and troubled children in Edinburgh, Scotland, and Cholulu, Mexico. She assisted humanitarian efforts in Gulfport, Mississippi, and St. Croix, Virgin Islands. She founded the Duke/Durham Tennis Project, an after-school program providing weekly tennis lessons for thirty underprivileged students in Durham. She also did extensive local volunteer work through her church with children and the elderly.

Gretchen spent 2007–2008 working with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America organizing for social change in the Philippines.

She will be working this year in Boston with the United South End Settlements, which provides programs that address the needs of individuals and families, from infants to seniors, including pre-school and after-school child care, vacation and summer day camps, residential camping, family services, referrals and support, adult basic education and job readiness, computer classes and open access to technology in the Timothy Smith Computer Learning Center, and senior services such as home repair, benefits advocacy, health screenings and education, home visits and recreation.

“Documentary work inspires in me an urge to tell stories that are untold, to reveal issues in new light, and to understand more about myself and community in the process,” she says. “There is great power in this type of work, and I strive to effect change with creative subtlety.”

For more information on Gretchen’s fellowship, visit:

Amanda Van Scoyoc 2007-2008

Amanda van Scoyoc graduated from University of Pennsylvania in 2005 with a B.A. in psychology and a minor in fine arts. For the last six years, she has worked on a variety of documentary projects, including a series of photographs, interviews, and writing about the impact that adopting nine-year-old Russian twin sisters has had on her family as well as on their own adjustment and development. Over the last year, she has volunteered as a photographer with two nonprofits in Guatemala and Honduras. Most recently, she has been working as an art teacher at a Boy’s Club of America, where she has incorporated journaling into her teaching.

“I have always been interested in particular groups of ‘at-risk youth’ and am very interested in working with kids who are growing up in situations different from their peers, for example, kids who act as a caretaker, older adopted kids, kids growing up with grandparents or in foster care, or kids growing up with a handicap,” she says. “I have found that a lot of them feel that the problems they encounter on a daily basis are unique. Documentary work could help them feel more connected to other kids who are growing up in similar situations.”

For her fellowship, Amanda worked with Roca, which employs almost one hundred full- and part-time employees, runs five large youth programs, and serves almost one thousand youth in the northern Boston region.

To read more about Amanda’s fellowship, visit: