Family: Reinterpreting the Personal Archive

Family: Reinterpreting the Personal Archive


Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University



12 hours



So often, photo albums and other repositories of memory are tucked away in basements or drawers and remain untouched, but the web of family is and can be a rich source of inspiration and analysis for artists and documentarians. This workshop is a stepping stone for new and seasoned documentarians to embark on family investigations, while becoming exposed to makers within the realm of documentary arts.

Through group discussion and individual investigation, students will utilize writing, photography and their personal objects to creatively interpret family archives. Past students have created projects based on folklore, oral storytelling, material objects, parallel family stories, archival photographs, and migration. Students will have the opportunity to discuss ethical practice when working with family, expansive notions of family and the role of ancestry DNA in family work.


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