Nicholas Pilarski 2015-2016

Nicholas aims to create art that facilitates a space forNP development and growth through documentary practice. His work focuses on issues that surround social and economic marginalization He uses collaborative art-making approaches that engage with individuals and communities to create dialogue through self-expression.

With experience working in music, theater, and film, Nicholas uses a multidisciplinary approach to inform his work. He has performed in a range of theatrical productions that include acting as a Blue Man with the Blue Man Group in both Chicago and New York City, and has played percussion with various Grammy nominated artists. As an educator he has facilitated master classes on theater methodologies, and most recently, documentary theory. After finishing a degree from the University of Michigan in theater and film, he traveled to West Bengal, India, to work with and learn from the world’s largest Theatre of the Oppressed movement, Jana Sanskriti. There, he concentrated on how theatrical and social techniques developed by the group could influence new-media and documentary.

This experience was fundamental in Nicholas’s decision to obtain an MFA from Duke University in Experimental and Documentary Arts. While at Duke, he worked to connect performance methodologies, Theatre of the Oppressed practices, and computational media to create his thesis project, I, Destini. This animated film explored the poignant and imaginative perspective of a youth grappling with the effects of having an incarcerated loved one. The documentary came to life through a series of creative workshops with Destini (the film’s main character/co-creator) and her family. This process ultimately focused on how documentary practices could foster reciprocal and creative dialog while advocating for social reform. Nicholas hopes to continue to build upon the collaborative documentary process he began developing while working with Destini and her family.

Recent film screenings include Meet the Press at The Indie Grits Film Festival, Columbia, South Carolina; Of Remnants at The Cinedans Film Festival at the National Film Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands; and Semi-Winged at Abstract Currents at the MoMA and MoMA-PS1, New York, New York.

About the Lewis Hine Fellowship Nicholas writes, “I am excited and honored to be a Lewis Hine Fellow. While supported by the fellowship I hope to help create a space where ideas can be shared freely and personal history can be documented through the process of collaborative self-expression. I can think of no greater privilege than to create work through the optic of activism and education that Lewis Hine helped pave almost a century ago.”

Nicholas will be working with the Brownsville Community Justice Center.

To see some of Nicholas’s work, please visit: http://www.nicholaspilarski.com

Amanda Berg 2014-2015

Berg_headshotTo be a photographer is to be in the world; at the heart of Amanda Berg’s practice is a simple desire to be with people in shared moments and to collect pictures that will remind us of something felt.

Amanda graduated from Duke University with an MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts in 2014. Prior to that, she received a BFA in photojournalism from Rochester Institute of Technology. While at RIT, she began documenting the culture of female undergraduate drinking. In 2011, this project, Keg Stand Queens, was awarded the Alexia Foundation student grant, which lead to multiple publications and speaking engagements.

After graduating from RIT Amanda attended the Eddie Adams Workshop and moved to Fayetteville, North Carolina, where she interned as a full-time photojournalist at the local newspaper. This experience fueled her passion for community journalism that challenges social expectation. While there she was awarded first and second place in “Best Video” of 2012 by the North Carolina Press Association.

During her time at Duke, Amanda explored a range of stories through many mediums, attended the Radius Book Workshop, New York Times Portfolio Review, Flaherty Film Seminar, and worked as a teaching assistant to David Gatten and Alex Harris. This culminated in a thesis film and exhibit about women’s tackle football.

Amanda is grateful to be a 2014 Lewis Hine Documentary Fellow. She says, “There is so much to learn and share about images and people. This is an ideal opportunity to become a more socially aware storyteller, get to know a vibrant new community and work in the legacy of one of the great social observer photographers.”

Amanda is working with with South Bronx United. To see more of Amanda’s work, visit amandaberg.net.

Sarah Stacke 2014-2015

Stacke_BioPIcSarah Stacke is a photographer based in Brooklyn, NY. One of her current documentary projects takes place in Western North Carolina where she photographs the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation. Sarah is also working on Love From Manenberg, a long-form documentary project in Cape Town, South Africa, and another project in the Democratic Republic of Congo where she’s developing an archival repository in collaboration with photographers in Kinshasa.

In addition to making photographs, Sarah teaches and generates projects that ask viewers to think critically about cross-cultural visual literacy at Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies. Sarah has written about photography for The New York Times Lens Blog and the Nasher Museum. She is the curator of exhibitions including Keep All You Wish: The Photographs of Hugh Mangum and AfriPost: Epistolary Journeys of African Pictures.

In 2012 she received a Master of Arts from Duke University tailored to research photographic representations of sub-Saharan Africa and the diaspora. Also at Duke, Sarah received certificates in African and African American Studies and Documentary Arts with a focus on multimedia.

Clients and publications include The New York Times, The Atlantic, Time Out New York, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Miami Herald, The Boston Globe, Marie Claire, YMCA, KARIBU Kinshasa, HOPE Cape Town, SONKE Gender Justice Network, and Yéle Haiti.

She began her career as an assistant to Burt Glinn of Magnum Photos.

About being a Lewis Hine Documentary Fellow, Sarah says, “This is an incredible opportunity to work with Exalt Youth, an organization that serves youth in the criminal justice system. As a photographer I’m interested in intersections of culture, history, and geography that have created marginalized communities. The disproportional incarceration rates within black communities have marginalized many people with devastating consequences. Exalt inspires youth at a critical crossroad to believe in their worth and transform themselves to reflect that worth and create lasting change. Documentary has the power to subvert the stereotypes surrounding incarcerated youth, inspire new ways of looking, and motivate people around the related social issues of racism and poverty. I can’t wait to get to work.”

For her fellowship, Sarah is working with Exalt Youth in Brooklyn.

To see more of Sarah’s work, visit: www.sarahstacke.com