Telling Stories with Intimacy
A Documentary Workshop
Instructor: Ed Kashi
6:30 – 9:00 pm Eastern via Zoom
Eight Thursdays beginning September 23, 2021
Note: Due to Ed’s active shooting schedule, he may need to miss a class that would be made up later at the end. He will also be available throughout the course to respond to emails and discuss particular concerns of students as needed.
Course fee: $600
Limited to eleven students
Photo by Ed Kashi. The funeral of Sa'ad Yacoub Issa, 71, who died without a husband or children. The community came out to honor her passing with a traditional Greek Orthodox ceremony, which began in her home surrounded by the women of the village and ended in the old Byzantine church and then a procession to the cemetery..
How do we prepare, as documentarians, to achieve intimacy in our work? And how do we prepare to experience and absorb the inevitable trauma of others? This workshop will be a mixture of the practical and the philosophical. In this 8+ week workshop, Ed will share work and ideas that address these central elements of doing impactful visual storytelling, while also reviewing the creative output of the participants in the safe, supportive and open environment that is emblematic of how Ed approaches his workshops. Participants will be challenged to dig deeper and produce work with intimacy and sensitivity. This workshop will challenge your humanity and consider the often difficult juggling act of handling your own emotions and the emotions of others. How can we produce work with intimacy while honoring and protecting the humanity of others.
What Ed has learned after 40 years is that you become not only a better documentarian but a better human being by embracing your trauma instead of running away from it. The importance of approaching subjects with sensitivity and respect is critical to doing this work ethically, and the importance of understanding your impact on the lives of subjects/collaborators, both in the field and in the final outcomes. Doing this work often puts us in close contact with the displaced and dispossessed. How do we function as documentarians and humans in this context?
The expectation of this workshop will be to push students to either continue an ongoing project, kickstart a new project or start and finish a manageable project. The focus will be on intimacy and delving into the lives of others. The approaches can be through still photography, video, writing, or other multidisciplinary forms of storytelling.
This workshop will also focus on the following: witnessing and absorbing trauma of others, narrative development, editing, advancing your visual sensibilities , forms of self-care, and gaining trust/access, but invariably the discussions will be broad and open-ended to serve the goals of the participants. The ultimate goal of this workshop is to advance your authorship and vision in telling stories with intimacy and sensitivity.
Ed Kashi is a prolific photojournalist who uses photography, filmmaking and social media to explore geopolitical and social issues that define our times. He is also a dedicated educator and mentor to photographers around the world and lectures frequently on visual storytelling, human rights and the world of media.
He has covered topics as diverse as the impact of oil in Nigeria, the protestant community in Northern Ireland, the lives of Jewish settlers in the West Bank, the impact of an aging society through his groundbreaking project, Aging in America, climate change, the plight of Syrian refugees, and the global epidemic of Chronic Kidney Disease among agricultural workers. A member of VII Photo Agency since 2010, Kashi has been recognized for his complex imagery and its compelling rendering of the human condition.
His early adoption of hybrid visual storytelling has produced a number of influential short films and in 2015 he was named Multimedia Photographer of the Year. Kashi’s embrace of new approaches to visual storytelling has led to creative social media and printed projects for a range of clients including National Geographic, Open Society Foundations, The New Yorker, MSNBC, Fortune, Human Rights Watch, International Medical Corps, NBC.com, New York Times Magazine, Oxfam, and TIME magazine.
A leading voice in the photojournalism world, Kashi frequently lectures on a wide range of topics for arts institutions, universities, schools and professional organizations. Through his editorial assignments and personal projects Kashi has published eight books, including Curse of the Black Gold: 50 Years of Oil in the Niger Delta, THREE, and Photojournalisms.
In 2002, Kashi in partnership with his wife, writer + filmmaker Julie Winokur, founded Talking Eyes Media. The non-profit company has produced numerous award-winning short films, exhibits, books, and multimedia pieces that explore significant social issues. Their project, Newest Americans, was just awarded Best Online Project of the Year from Pictures of the Year International. www.edkashi.com
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