“PAY ATTENTION!”: PRACTICING CLOSE OBSERVATION WITH CAMERA AND PEN
Fall 2018, Creative Alliance, Patterson Park
In this journalism workshop, fellows will get as close as possible to the world and people around them, while discovering the city of Baltimore on foot. Using the nearly obsolete but unobtrusive tool of the disposable camera, and the citizen journalist's weapon of the cellphone camera, they’ll frame and capture what they see. Their photographs--taken in churches, on playgrounds, at public events embracing both art and politics--will be guided by the fundamental rules of journalism: Who, What, When, Where, and most importantly, WHY. These investigations will be pursued through "deep captions," short features of 3 to 5 paragraphs per photo with each student working on multiple images and multiple stories over the course of the workshop. In this era of "fake news,” the workshop will labor for accuracy in interviews and research. If a fact or detail about an image cannot be proven to be true, it will not be published. Fellows will sharpen observation, communication, and critical-thinking skills. Their captioned photographs will be collected in a photo book, and will appear on the program website and at a public exhibition. Fellows are not required to own smartphones to participate. Limited to 12 student fellows.
For nearly 40 years, Rafael Alvarez has been writing about Baltimore while taking thousands of pictures of his hometown with disposable cameras. A former City Desk reporter for The Baltimore Sun, Alvarez wrote for the HBO drama The Wire, and has published ten books. Educated in Catholic schools, he is a lifelong resident of Baltimore.
Malkah Bell is a recent graduate of Morgan State University's SWAN (Screenwriting & Animation) program, receiving her BFA in television and media writing. Since childhood she has had a love for writing and uses film as a her canvas to tell moving stories.