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Fellows 2007-08

FSC-Radcliffe Fellows

Rebecca Baron

Sharon Lockhart

FSC-Harvard Fellows

Diana Keown Allan

Melissa Davenport

Greg Gagnon

Henri Herré

Hélène Landemore

Laurie McIntosh

Susannah Morse

Jeff Silva

JP Sniadecki

Stephanie Spray

Christian Stayner

Benji Zusman

Robert Fulton Fellow

Amie Siegel

McMillan-Stewart Fellow

Mahamat-Saleh Haroun

Diana Allan has just completed a doctorate in social anthropology at Harvard. Her current project, Still Life, is a triptych of video portraits with three generations of Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon that explores the different ways in which memory is mediated. The first sequence considers how a series of photos belonging to Said, an elderly refugee in his eighties living in Sidon, now mediate his recollections of his life in Acre before 1948. It also reveals how the “reality” represented in these images has in fact become conflated with them. The second portrait follows Nabil, a Palestinian taxi driver who grew up in Tel’Azater – a camp in a Christian neighborhood of East Beirut that was destroyed during the civil war. For Nabil, remembering emerges cartographically – a spatial relationship with the past that is activated by movement through the city of Beirut. The final piece examines memory generated through ritual practice. Ali, a refugee born in Shatila, now in his late fifties, visits the border several times a month and spends hours videoing Israeli checkpoints and his ancestral village of Khalsa, which is just visible from the observation deck at Fatima’s gate. Ali now has an archive of over 100 hours of video shot during these visits. As opposed to the codification of memory in a finite set of photos (as we see in the case of Said), Ali’s continually expanding collection constitutes a ritualized, mediated substitute for lived experience and the mnemonic processes associated with it. Allen's other film projects include Chatila: Beirut (2002) and Nakba Archive (2006).

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Film Study Center–Radcliffe Fellow
Rebecca Baron is known for her lyrical essay films, which explore the construction of history, with a particular interest in still photography and its relationship to the moving image. While at the FSC she will be working on What Nature Tells Us, a series of short films that examine navigation and sense of direction. The project is inspired by the works of three disparate figures: navigator Harold Gatty, experimental writer Georges Perec and 19th century photographer Felice Beato. She will also be working with Dorit Margreiter on simulations of poverty. Baron's films have screened widely in international film festivals and media venues including New York Film Festival, Documenta, Rotterdam, Viennale, Oberhausen, Cinémathèque Française, Anthology Film Archive, Pacific Film Archive, Flaherty Film Seminar and the Whitney Museum of American Art's 2000 Biennial. Her films have received awards at the San Francisco, Black Maria, Montreal, Leipzig, Athens, Onion City, Sinking Creek, KIN and Ann Arbor Film Festivals. She is the recipient of a 2002 Guggenheim Fellowship. Baron is currently on leave from CalArts where she teaches documentary and experimental film.

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Melissa Davenport received a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and is Events & Publications Manager of the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University. With the Film Study Center, she will be working on two projects: The Town Dock, an experimental documentary in post-production that captures the rhythm of summer and the residents of a small town, reflected in the microcosm of the public town dock, and The Deer, a film about the closed culture of hunting and storytelling in a small town.

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Greg Gagnon earned his BA in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard College in 2006. As an undergrad, he received the Albert Alcalay Prize for outstanding work in the studio arts. His videos and performances have been shown in Boston, Philadelphia and Edinburgh. At the Film Study Center, Gagnon is beginning work on The World's Fair Monument Project, a cycle of short films that take as their starting point the history of World's Fairs and International Expositions.

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Henri Herré began his film career by making fiction films exploring the interaction of people and environment, both in very impersonal urban areas as well as on Easter Island. His fiction output includes five shorts and two features, Août and L'île au bout du monde. He subsequently moved into nonfiction film, making documentaries on various topics for European television channels, as well as scientific movies. Many of these works have been shown in international festivals and have won prizes. He has taught at the film school FEMIS in Paris. With the Film Study Center, he is working on a documentary on Boston's history of cinema vérité. Other current projects include Cher Cherokee and a film on a public school in Dorchester.

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Hélène Landemore is a Ph.D. Candidate in Government at Harvard University and pursues documentary-making as a complement to (and perhaps also an escape from) her work as a political theorist. She has directed three short documentaries: Chez Henri (2005), Catherine or Portrait With Friends (2006) and Meredith (2006), the last with Jenny Malin. In the fall she will start shooting Mariage à la Française in her home country while finishing her dissertation at the Collège de France in Paris.

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Film Study Center–Radcliffe Fellow
As a visual artist, Sharon Lockhart works primarily in motion film and still photography. Her work often deals with the uneasy relationship between stillness and motion, truth and fiction. In particular, she is interested in the way these relationships become strained in documentary traditions. During her fellowship, Lockhart will complete a new film and photographic series titled Lunchbreak. Motivated by shifts in the world economy and its affect on American labor, inspired by iconic 20th century images of the blue-collar worker, Lunchbreak documents the vital social space of the communal meal. As the film moves across New England labor communities, from one lunch break to another, the viewer is immersed in the worker’s lives, politics and humor. Each of the film’s sequences is determined by the real time span of the workers’ break, beginning and ending with their meal. The film will be accompanied by a series of portraits continuing Lockhart’s photographic project that began with Enrique Nava Enedina. In contrast to the filmic portrayal of the lunch breaks, these still images will document the individual working. Sharon Lockhart received her MFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena in 1993. She was previously a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow and a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow. Her films and photographic work have been widely exhibited in international film festivals and at innumerable museums, cultural institutions and galleries around the world. She is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Southern California's Roski School of Fine Arts.

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A doctoral candidate in social anthropology at Harvard University, Laurie McIntosh’s academic background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Literature, Studio Art and Feminist Studies, and a Master’s degree in Race and Gender Studies. Laurie is currently in post-production for her first feature-length documentary, which is based on her dissertation research in Scandinavia. Her research examines the politics of immigration, citizenship, and refugee rights and debates around the resurgence of nationalistic rhetoric and political mainstreaming of neo-Nazi sentiment throughout parts of Northern Europe. Exploring the daily lives of four individuals located in different spheres of this complex human rights dilemma, the digital video attempts to capture the ways in which individuals and nations negotiate the turbulent dynamics of migration, nationalistic fervor, anti-immigrant sentiment, violence, and state bureaucracy.

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Susannah Morse is a teaching assistant in the film and video department of Harvard University, where she graduated with an A. B. in Visual and Environmental Studies in 2004. Her work combines documentary filmmaking with experimental fiction and often explores ideas of legend and fairytale, weaving narrative through non-traditional forms. She has directed three experimental shorts: Ashore, based on the Selchie legends of Ireland and Scotland, Storybook, and Woman Asleep. With the Film Study Center, she begins work on A Single, Silent Phrase, an experimental portrait of children's fantasy writer Susan Cooper (author of the Newberry Award-winning series The Dark Is Rising). In this 16mm film, she will study the process of writing through a combination of traditional observational portraiture, experimental use of landscape cinematography and a careful examination of words as they are written and revised.

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Robert Fulton Fellow
Amie Siegel works variously in 16mm and 35mm film, video, sound and writing. Screenings and exhibitions include the Whitney Museum of American Art, KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin, Austrian Film Museum, Berlin International Film Festival, Pacific Film Archive, Museum of Fine Arts Boston and Film Forum in New York. She is the author of numerous essays and a book of poetry, The Waking Life (North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, CA, 1999). Siegel has been an artist in residence of the DAAD Berliner-Künstlerprogramm, the Edith Ruß Haus für Medienkunst and is a recepient of the Guggenhiem Fellowship. Siegel uses the cinematic image as material means to a conceptual end. Her work mines the voyeuristic (film) gaze, direct address and interview, investigating how these repetitions form cultural memory. Her multi-channel video installations reformulate cinematic enterprises—the establishing shot, the remake & the tracking shot—as uncanny reflections of absence, historical disorientation and nostalgia. Longer single-channel videos and films (The Sleepers, Empathy) move between scripted and spontaneous spaces; truth and fiction, shifting performance from identification to parody and estrangement. She is currently at work on a feature-length film about former East Germany which considers the behavior of a non-fiction film - an invasive act of cameras and microphones - about a culture once defined by surveillance and manipulation.

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Jeff Silva studied cinema and photography at Ithaca College and received an MFA in Visual Art from Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier.  He is a teaching assistant at Harvard and adjunct faculty at Emerson College in experimental and ethnographic filmmaking and film studies. He has also worked professionally as a producer at MIT, creating hundreds of physics and other science and educational videos for the institute.  Silva is also a co-founder and co-curator of the acclaimed Balagan Experimental Film Series at the Coolidge Corner Theatre.  Over the past ten years, Silva has developed a diverse body of work, from multi-channel installations to short films and experimental documentaries that have screened internationally at festivals and in galleries.  His most recently completed project, Balkan Rhapsodies, is a feature length experimental documentary.  Shot over the last eight years in Serbia and Kosovo, Balkan Rhapsodies explores the complexities of the ethnic conflict, nationalism, U.S. involvement, and the post-traumatic aftermath of years of war and oppression in Yugoslavia.  With the Film Study Center he is embarking on a 16mm film and installation project, Chilangolandia: Capital in Movement, that will explore an impressionistic vision into the cultural layers and rhythms of life Mexico City.  The film investigates the various sixteen districts of the city through an expressive documentary camera style that visually destabilizes and critiques its very own tourist gaze and its relationship to the spectacles, beauty, violence, and rituals that it encounters.

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J.P. Sniadecki primarily likes working in image and sound, and somehow
finds himself as a doctoral candidate in social anthropology at Harvard.  As an undergraduate at Grand Valley State University, he made Working Classics, a documentary about his service as a liberal arts instructor in a progressive education program in a Michigan state prison.  Working Classics screened at the 2003 East Lansing Film Festival and helped the education program garner support from the American Philosophical Association and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.  After studying and working in China, he entered Harvard’s Regional Studies: East Asia Master’s program to pursue his interest in contemporary Chinese culture and media anthropology.   In collaboration with the Harvard Media Anthropology Lab and the Harvard Asia Center, he produced Songhua, which has been shown at festivals and conferences nationwide, including the 2007 SIGGRAPH Festival, the 2007 Negotiated View Film Festival, and the University of California Santa Barbara Media Fields Conference.  He also serves as the Director of Communications for the Children’s Healing Initiative and has made videos to promote medical exchange between medical providers in the U.S. and health institutions and orphanages in western China.  His current project with the Film Study Center, Removal, is a nonfiction video about migrant workers at a demolition site in the center of Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan province.

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Stephanie Spray is a filmmaker and doctoral candidate in social anthropology at Harvard University. She received her B.A. in the study of world religions at Smith College and a master’s degree at Harvard Divinity School. She has been engaged in various fieldwork-based projects in Nepal since 1999. In 2001 she was the recipient of a Fulbright-IIE grant, which she used to begin fieldwork with the Gaine, a caste of itinerant musicians. Two such musicians were the subjects of an observational digital video, Kale and Kale, produced in 2007 with the support of the Media Anthropology Laboratory and the South Asia Initiative at Harvard. Her current project, The Gayek Family, is a portrait of a joint-family in Arghau Archale, Nepal. Employing an embodied camera style, this observational video project seeks to unveil, through moving image and sound, the intersubjective exchange of the subjects, cameraperson, and viewers as they are mutually constituted in seeing and/or being seen. The Gayek Family will be composed of discrete vignettes, typically of two or three takes, and will experiment with duration and framing with the aim of accentuating an exchange that is at once subtle and intimate.

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Christian Stayner is a graduate student in architecture at the Graduate School of Design, and a graduate of Harvard College. His work investigates the built and social environment through use of a variety of media. Previous film projects include a 30-minute film commissioned by Deep Springs College; a video proposal for a cultural embassy for the European Union in Istanbul; and The Slabs with John Hulsey. With the Film Study Center, he is again collaborating with John Hulsey on Raft of the Medusa, a feature-length documentary about three ordinary people trapped in the margins of Europe’s mutating borders: a Spanish coast guard captain who intercepts West African migrants adrift between Senegal and the Canary Islands, an illegal Malian laborer digging the foundations for a high-rise hotel on Fuerteventura’s east shore, and a flight attendant bound up in a diplomatic row as she serves food to deportees flying back to Dakar.

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After graduating from Harvard University in 2004 with a degree in biochemistry, Benji Zusman lived for a year in the Darien forests of Panama, filming a narrative that unfolds around the “Darien Gap” - a sixty square mile patch of roadless jungle in the southernmost province of Panama, along the border with Colombia. The film will focus on the people and land around this single remaining gap in the 16,000 mile intercontinental Pan-American Highway. With the Film Study Center, he will bring Darien Gap to completion. Since returning from Central America, Benji has been involved in a network of projects ranging from Panama to Peru to Montana, as part of the video and audio collective CURIOUS. He currently works in the Biosensor and Molecular Technologies Group at MIT Lincoln Laboratory.

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Visiting Fellow

The McMillan-Stewart Fellowship in Distinguished Filmmaking

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