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Documenting the Lives of Others


Nov 05 2015


12:00 pm - 1:15 pm


Forum for Scholars and Publics

011 Old Chemistry Building, Duke's West Campus Quad

Always Go in on Your Tip-Toes

[ Photo credit: Marco Werman ]


‘Always Go in on Your Tip-Toes’

Documenting the Lives of Others With Alex Harris and Marco Werman

Join us for a discussion with Marco Werman (T ’83), journalist and host of Public Radio International’s show, “The World,” and Alex Harris, Duke University professor and acclaimed documentary photographer. Together, the two will look back at Werman’s early work in journalism and documentary storytelling as an undergraduate student in Harris’s “American Communities” course, and explore how that experience has shaped Werman’s approach to telling other people’s stories. Recalling his experience in Harris’s class, Werman has said, “I keep my first photo [for that course] in a frame today on my desk at work. The man in the photo has his fist right in my lens. It serves as a reminder that I should always go into a story on tip-toes, never guns blazing.”

Free and open to the public. Light lunch served.

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“Rather than thinking of good photography — or good journalism — resting on strong technical skills, both Harris and Werman emphasized the need to be a certain kind of person, one who asks questions and really listens, one who notices objects and mannerisms and moods, and one who takes good care of the gifts of others’ time and stories and images.” —Margaret (Lou) Brown, Marco Werman and Alex Harris in Conversation, Forum Online


Alex Harris

Duke University

Alex Harris is a founder of The Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) at Duke where he also launched DoubleTake Magazine. He is a Professor of the Practice of Public Policy and Documentary Studies at Duke. At CDS, he is the creative director of the Lewis Hine Documentary Fellows Program. Harris…...

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Marco Werman

Public Radio International

I got my first job in journalism at 16 as a copy-boy at the News and Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina. I've worked in documentary photography, print, radio and television. My radio work started in Burkina Faso in West Africa, following a three year stint with the Peace Corps in Togo.…...

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