Jennifer Carpenter, a 2010-2011 Lewis Hine Documentary Fellow from the Center for Documentary Studies, spent 10 months working with the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center (BCNC) in Boston, MA. For one of her documentary projects, Jennifer chose to focus on a community of retirees who met twice a week for an afternoon of ballroom dance.
Generation Dance is a story about social dancing from a generation that witnessed a whirlwind of war, revolution and nation-building. By interweaving 20th century Chinese ballroom dance history with personal accounts from Chinatown’s residents, this story offers unique insight into the value of self-expression & community-building through dance.
Generation Dance will be exhibited at the Wong/Yee Memorial Gallery from June 15 – October 31.
To learn more about the exhibition and see photos from the opening, visit: http://generationdance.weebly.com/press.html
Jennifer Carpenter, a 2010-2011 Lewis Hine Fellow from the Center for Documentary Studies, spent 10 months working with the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center (BCNC) in Boston, Massachusetts. Inspired by the Literacy Through Photography
program, Jennifer conducted six workshops with children at BCNC to produce community alphabets. Each class produced a 26-photograph series corresponding to the 26 letters of the English alphabet. The goal of the Alphabet Project was to guide students toward a new appreciation of the power of photography as a catalyst from which to better understand their community.
The Alphabet Project’s youngest students admire their photographs of life in Chinatown. Carpenter led more than eighty students in The Alphabet Project, with participants ranging from ages five to seventy. Photo by Kye Liang.
The Alphabet Project is on display at BCNC and can also be viewed online: http://chinatownalphabetproject.com/
The Alphabet Project
Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center
38 Ash Street, Boston, MA 02111
Mon–Fri, 8:30 a.m.–9 p.m.; Saturday, 12–10 p.m.
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 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 ABCnews.com, 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 (http://bcnc.net/index.php/storycorps.html), 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..