Photography

Every place holds stories—of people who lived there, died there, or passed through at some point in their life. 

Family Secrets is a new song cycle performance debuting this weekend that explores the relationship among places, people and secrets.

Sarita and her family arrived from Nepal in 2008, where they had lived in a refugee camp for many years after fleeing political instability in Bhutan.
Andrea Patiño Contreras

The economy can have a major influence on the history of a city.

Factories once brought folks from the world over to new places with a similar goals in mind - to prosper and make a better life. That is the story of Lynn, Massachusetts. Once the home of General Electric and the countless shoe factories, the city was home to immigrants from Canada, Ireland, Greece, Italy and Armenia. Now, Lynn bears only the vestiges of its industrial success and is economically depressed. Immigration continues but from new areas of the world.

James Longley's exhibit is showing through Feb. 20 at the Power Plant Gallery in Durham.
James Longley

  Filmmaker James Longley is known for his portrayals people in politically volatile countries in the Middle East. 

His films seek to deepen an understanding of the historical and cultural dimensions of the region’s conflicts. For his low-budget, self-financed films, Longley has lived among ordinary families, gaining access to people in places rarely chronicled on film by Westerners. 

Center for the Study of the American South

  

Anne Spencer's Lynchburg, Virginia house was a sanctuary for African-American artists, writers and intellectuals during the Harlem Renaissance. 

A selection of images and poems by husband and wife artist team Michael Platt and Carol Beane. Their  exhibit “Ritual + Time Travel=Rebirth” is on view at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History.
Michael Platt and Carol Beane

Husband and wife artist team Michael Platt and Carol Beane co-create work that explores rites, rituals and the lives of people living on the margins of history.

Looking At Appalachia

Jan 22, 2015
Ronald Sowder cuts Tom Fitzsimmons hair in Hinton, Summers County, West Virginia .
Ryan Stone / Looking at Appalachia

Fifty years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared war on poverty. The images of the Appalachia region from that period created stereotypes of its people and land for the rest of the country.

Update January 7, 2015:

In the summer of 2014, we heard about a vintage photo that was found tucked away in one of the books at the Chapel Hill Public Library. No one knew how long the picture had been there, but the photo caught our imagination. Who was this Duke Blue Devil?

For a time, the mystery appeared to be solved.  The son of a Duke alum, Donald Brandon, wrote to say, "It looks like Bill Werber."

Roadside meeting with Durham County farmer. North Carolina. He gives road directions by drawing the dirt with a stick. July 1939
Dorothea Lange / Library of Congress Call Number LC-USF34-020259

During the Great Depression, the federal government sent photographers around the country to meet Americans and document their lives. Those photographers took some 170,000 photographs throughout the latter half of the 1930s and into the 194os. The images they captured are among the most iconic of the era.

There's a new way to browse the images by state and even by county. The site is called Photogrammer and it was created by a team at Yale University.

Tamaulipas, Mexico, 1996 – Marisol daydreams at dusk while anticipating the arrival of more garbage trucks at the municipal dump
Janet Jarman

Immigration has taken center stage this week with President Obama's announcement of protection for some  children and families who entered the country illegally. In North Carolina, some area teachers have recently been trained to better understand the experience of such undocumented immigrants. The training is based on an extraordinary set of photos, taken over two decades, on both sides of the U.S./Mexico border.

WUNC's Carol Jackson tells the story:

Ruins in Charleston, S.C., from the album Photographic Views of Sherman’s Campaign
George N. Barnard / David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University

Duke University recently acquired two stunning sets of photographs of the Civil War. Now, Duke Performances has commissioned a leading guitarist to set the images to music. The result is an intimate perspective on the cost of war.

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