Documentary Storytelling and Social Change

Thursday, November 1, FRANK hosted the final event of the FRANK: In Focus photography festival, the Salon “Documentary Storytelling and Social Change.” Before beginning, Gordon Jameson, Torey Mishoe, Barbara Tyroler and Bryce Lankard thanked the community for all of the participation, positive encouragement, and support that made the festival possible. Elena Rue, Catherine Orr, and Kathryn Stein led the evening, discussing their photography and videography, created to make a difference in our community.

Kathryn Stein, documentary artist and UNC Masters in Public Health candidate, began the lecture, speaking about the four months she spent in Malawi working with obstetric fistula patients. Her work focused on the strong bonds and friendships that were created among patients and doctors of the clinic while she documented their journeys of recovery.

Catherine Orr and Elena Rue, co-founders of StoryMineMedia and CDS instructors at Duke University, followed Stein’s presentation. Through documentary and storytelling, the pair calls attention to different issues in the community. Orr and Rue take a personal approach, engaging people in a new way.

A short question and answer session and reception followed the lecture.

As the evening drew to a close, many thank-yous were exchanged with those in charge of the photography festival, who, over the course of the last few months, have successfully brought together the community and initiated interesting discussion on the artist and curator of today.


Thursday Salon: David Spear

Thursday evening at 6pm, FRANK hosted a salon with David Spear. Spear is a Guggenheim Fellowship and NC Artist Fellowship award-winner and nationally exhibited photographer. Through the evening, Spear showed examples of his work and explained his processes.

David Spear spent the majority of his career as a darkroom photographer, developing works from his travels within the United States and abroad through traditional means. With the introduction of the digital darkroom, Spear has become acquainted with new methods, incorporating new technology in the development of his photographs.

The discussion following the lecture touched on the controversy of manipulation in the darkroom and on the computer. Artists present supported the addition of the DSLR and computer to the photographer’s toolbox, recognizing them as new ways to create and refine artwork. Bill McAllister noted how manipulation in photography has been present from the beginning with the alteration of the image from color to black and white.

After the discussion, a short reception followed.