TICUANTEPE, Nicaragua, 2 July 2011 — Martha Dodge and Paloma Jackson take a break from the production stage of the “Backpack Documentary Expedition: Nicaragua” in the town of Ticuantepe. Dodge and Jackson documented a work visit by some 30 U.S. volunteers associated with Bridges to Community, a New York-based NGO that assists the materially poor in Nicaragua and builds relationships between U.S. and Nicaraguan communities. The volunteers built four houses in four days in this community, about 30 minutes from Managua, the Nicaraguan capital. Dodge and Jackson have become proficient in the methodology that we refer to as “backpack journalism,” which is the use of hand-held digital cameras by a single, properly trained practitioner, to deliver a character-driven brand of visual communication that is more intimate, more immediate than is achievable using a large, shoulder-held camera and a multi-person crew. In backpack journalism, the practitioner is given the time to know the subjects he/she is covering and is therefore able to get to the heart of a story.
(Photo by Bill Gentile.)