Amara Hark Weber 2006-2007

Amara Hark Weber, a 2005 graduate of Bard College in history and African studies, is passionate about bridging cultural gaps and misunderstandings, and feels strongly that the best way to mend cultural rifts is to hear individual stories and voices. While at Bard, she undertook several study abroad programs, including an intensive independent study of textiles in Ghana and a human rights program in Cape Town, South Africa.

Beyond her academic work in history, Amara has a strong background in bookbinding, surface design, woodworking, and blacksmithing. She is interested in the ways that the material, social, and historical worlds intertwine to influence our everyday lives. By working with artisans and craftspeople around the world, Amara has formed a unique appreciation of the ways that our material cultures affect us.

In September 2005, Amara moved to Durham, North Carolina, to enroll in the Certificate in Documentary Studies program at CDS. Using her newfound knowledge, she spent the summer of 2006 in Kumasi, Ghana, developing a series of audio postcards as well as portraits of female traders in the Kejitia Market.

As a Lewis Hine Fellow, Amara worked with Schedia in Greece on a variety of audio and photography projects that explore the lives of recent Muslim immigrant children.

To learn more about Amara’s work to date, visit:

Emma Raynes 2006-2007

Emma Raynes graduated in 2004 from Bowdoin College, where she majored in art history and pursued additional interests in photography and sociology. In 2005 she received her Certificate in Documentary Studies from CDS, and the following year she completed a program in General Photographic Studies at the International Center of Photography in New York City. Emma is a documentary artist who uses photography, audio, video, book arts, and installation. She collaborates with the subjects of her documentary work, encouraging individuals and communities to be participants in the documentary process. She has worked on projects in Northern Ireland, China, Nepal, South India, North Carolina, and New York.

During her junior year in college, Emma studied anthropology and Nepali language in Katmandu, Nepal. In order to expand the scope of her research and gain a greater understanding of the lived experiences of Nepali women, she taught local residents how to use cameras to make images about the things that are most important to them. Back in the United States she produced three exhibitions of eighteen collaborative portraits of Nepali women.

After Emma graduated from college, she lived in South India, where she worked on a project about women’s experiences in the emerging urban middle class. She organized a photographic exchange between her students in India and a group of photography students in the United States.

Emma’s most recent work focused on a shelter for previously homeless veterans who struggle with mental and physical disabilities. Concerned about the war in Iraq and the experiences of those who return from combat situations, she interviewed and photographed the residents and staff members at the facility. She also led creative writing and poetry reading sessions for the residents.

As a Lewis Hine Fellow, Emma worked with Centro Popular de Cultura e Desenvolvimento in Brazil to develop photographs and videos with impoverished children in rural towns.

To read some of her recent thoughts, visit

Elena Rue 2005-2006

Elena is a 2003 graduate of Kenyon College, where she studied anthropology and photography. While at Kenyon, she combined her interest in photography, farming, and fieldwork through her involvement with the Rural Life Center, which promotes local organic food in Knox County, Ohio, among other activities.

Elena Rue is working to complete the Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) Certificate program offered in conjunction with Duke Continuing Studies. During an intensive semester at CDS in 2001, she completed a number of undergraduate documentary studies courses and was involved with CDS’s Youth Document Durham program and Student Action with Farmworkers, an organization housed at CDS. She spent that following spring semester in Ghana documenting the unique sign language of the isolated deaf community of Adamorobe.

After graduation, Elena completed internships at the Maine Photographic Workshops and DoubleTake magazine and has worked with photographers Wing Young Huie, Constantine Manos, and Lisa Kessler.

Elena’s recent documentary work focuses on adoption and the changing face of the American family. Included in this body of work are international, interracial, single, and gay and lesbian adoptive families in Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio, and North Carolina.

As a Lewis Hine Fellow, Elena worked with Hope for Children (HFC) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. HFC supports young children affected by HIV/AIDS by ensuring they have access to basic services, such as food, shelter, education, and medical care.

To learn more about Elena’s work visit:

Sarah Leeper 2005-2006

Sarah Leeper graduated from Duke University in 2003 with a major in developmental psychology and coursework in education, photography, and medicine. She spent time with children as a remedial language arts tutor in Durham public schools, as a Guardian Ad Litem with abused and neglected children in the North Carolina court system, as a caretaker at summer camps for children with HIV and other chronic illnesses, and in various patient care projects at the Duke Medical Center.

After graduation, Sarah worked for a year as a language facilitator in the Duke Hospital School’s classroom for the hearing impaired, where she taught deaf children audio-verbal and literacy skills through photography and personal narratives. She spent two years in Durban, South Africa, as a Hine Fellow with the Children’s Rights Centre, working with youth who are HIV-positive and documenting their experience of living positively. She is especially interested in empowering children to be active participants in their own health care and to share their knowledge with others through words and photographs.

To learn more about Sarah’s work, visit:

View a PDF copy of the Living Positively Handbook

Maital Guttman 2005-2006

Maital Guttman is a documentary filmmaker. As a freshman at Duke University her interest in documentary work began through the Humanitarian Challenges at Home and Abroad FOCUS Program. During her senior year she produced her first full-length documentary titled Mechina: A Preparation. The film follows six Israeli teens three months before they become soldiers. Through the film, Maital hopes to provide a fresh glimpse into the life of Israeli society and look beyond the images of conflict shown in the media. As a documentarian she plans to continue telling stories that are often unheard and unseen by the general public, with the underlying intent of moving beyond differences and bringing people together.

A comparative area studies major, Maital is passionate about the world, its beauty, and its cultures, with primary interest in the Middle East. She lived in Israel for seven years and is fluent in Hebrew. She also studied intensive Arabic while living with a traditional Muslim family in Morocco. She brought many of the lessons she learned in Morocco and abroad to Duke where she founded the first Arab and Jewish Students for Dialogue Group. She has traveled and worked across the globe, in Thailand, New Zealand, Uruguay, Kenya, Australia, Eastern Europe, and in the United States, in New Orleans.

As a Lewis Hine Fellow, Maital worked with the Ten Million Memory Project in South Africa to complete a film about the impact of “Hero Books” on children’s lives.

To learn more about Maital’s work, visit: