Hidden Stories of Abandoned Places

North Carolina Museum of History | September 4, 2015

Event information: Center for Documentary Studies |  NC Department of Cultural Resources

What can photos, archival documents, personal recollections, and video reveal about the people who once inhabited a place and the circumstances that caused them to leave it behind? What affects the decisions a photographer or filmmaker makes about how to document a place and where to focus the viewer’s gaze? How do personal relationships affect those decisions? In this discussion, five documentarians discuss their own journeys into places that were once filled with life but gradually became shadows and skeletons of that past vitality. Their photographs and films connect viewers to the lives that once filled these places, prompting imaginations and memories to fill the voids. But the documentary works also reflect the personal connections the photographers and filmmakers have to the sites they document. Each of the panelists has a unique story to tell about why and how they chose to document a particular place. Showing examples of their work, they will explore how their own connections to a place affected those choices and what they hope to convey to a viewer.

This program was inspired by the ongoing exhibition, Rural Revival: Photographs of Home and Preservation of Place at the North Carolina Museum of History, featuring the work of North Carolina-based photographer Scott Garlock, who will be a panelist for the discussion.

The program is being presented as part of the NC Museum of History’s programming for Raleigh’s First Fridays arts events.

Co-sponsored by the North Carolina Museum of History, Duke University Center for Documentary Studies, Duke University MFA|EDA Program, and the Durham County Library.