WASHINGTON, DC, 16 June 2012 — Boston-based designer and Internet marketing specialist Bruce Jones addresses a select group of participants at a video journalism marketing workshop in my home this weekend.
Below, a packet that Bruce had prepared in preparation for the event.
Below, my youngest brother, Rob, and web designer Bryant Cook, listen to a presentation by Bruce.
Below, Nick Ray joins the group. (All photos by Bill Gentile.)
WASHINGTON, DC, 15 June 2012 — Bruce Jones is upstairs getting ready for his two-day workshop. My Web guy, Nick Ray, was here last night for dinner and should be back around 8:30 this morning. My youngest brother, Rob, is on a flight from North Carolina to DC and hopefully arriving soon. Bryant Cook, my brother’s Web guy, arrived last night. My wife, Esther, will be joining us as much as her schedule allows.
Bruce is here from Boston. I asked him to conduct a two-day “Backpack Journalism Workshop: Brainstorming, Ideas, Actions.” Bruce was a member of my very first Backpack Journalism Workshop at the American Film Institute (AFI) in Silver Spring, Md. And we’ve been working together ever since.
I asked Bruce to conduct a workshop here today and tomorrow so that I could take this whole endeavor to another level: to reach more people; to spread the word farther and wider; to broaden and to strengthen the base of people out there who can practice the craft — properly — that we refer to as “backpack journalism.”
Should be a fun two days, so join us.
WASHINGTON, DC, 9 June 2012 — Registration is open for the second “Backpack Documentary Expedition: Nicaragua,” scheduled for 12-23 July 2012. Above, a young Nicaraguan works the land near her home just outside the capital of Managua, during the 2011 Expedition.
I accompany participants to the Central American nation of Nicaragua for an immersion in the process of documentary filmmaking. Participants follow American volunteers working with the non-profit organization, “Bridges to Community,” in the region of Nindiri to learn the essence of documentary — using media to transform the world. Drawing on my 30+ years of experience in the field, students acquire knowledge and skills that otherwise might take months or even years to attain.
The region of Nindiri is located between the capital city of Managua and the city of Masaya. While Nindiri town has preserved much of its colonial flare, many of the surrounding rural communities lack even basic infrastructure. Many of the people there are farmers. More recently, some have become workers in the “Free Trade Zone” textile factories. Neither alternative provides more than a very limited income, and the communities have few options to improve their own housing, education or healthcare. Bridges to Community started work in Nindiri in 2006.
Join me and learn to make powerful documentaries in Nicaragua, the land of lakes and volcanoes in the heart of Central America. For details, see http://billgentile.com/expedition.php. You can see the work of Martha Dodge, a student in last year’s Expedition, here.
I am convinced that we can use this methodology as a force for good. As the slogan for our expedition states: “Engage. Embrace. Empower.” This is the mission.
WASHINGTON, 7 June 2012 — USA Today just published this piece I did, backpack journalism style, on the Cuban economy. See it here.
HAVANA, 31 May 2012 — Abel Carmenate Abreu, staff photographer for Casa de las Americas, made this image of me while I tested the new Sony Alpha 77 HDSLR last week in the Cuban capital. Abel is a staff photographer for Casa de las Americas, Cuba’s premier cultural institute. Sony has loaned 15 of these cameras to American University’s School of Communication (SOC) as a show of support for our Backpack Journalism Project, which I launched a few years ago. I was testing one of the cameras in Havana because some of the students in our AU Abroad program will be using them during fall semester 2012 in Cuba. It seems like the perfect tool for my “Photojournalism and Social Documentary” course, one of five courses the AU Abroad students will take while in Cuba. It also seems like a perfect first step in the progression to Backpack Journalism. (All photos, except the last one of Abel, by Abel Carmenate Abreu.)
Below, a close-up of the new camera.
Below, I make an image in one of Havana’s plazas.
Below, a picture I made of Abel.