Highlights from ivoh’s 2016 Restorative Narrative fellowship
Images & Voices of Hope is gearing up to launch the third iteration of our Restorative Narrative Fellowship in early 2017. We plan to publish the application for the fellowship on November 1, 2016 and select five fellows by the end of the year. We’ll publish the application and post updates on this page. Questions? Please email ivoh’s executive director Mallary Tenore.
Read on to find out more about our 2016 fellowship…
Nearly 100 people applied for the fellowship, with just four spots available. The fellows we selected — Dan Archer, Christa Hillstrom, Heidi Shin, and Moses Shumow — showed a deep understanding of Restorative Narrative and pitched projects that deepened our collective understanding of this genre.
Each fellow was given a $2,500 stipend to spend six months telling Restorative Narratives in various communities. Their projects focused on a variety of topics: the Colombian conflict; sex abuse among Native American women in the Pacific Northwest; refugees who are working through “double trauma” and finding resilience in Boston; and stories of restoration and renewal in a Miami neighborhood that is often defined by a single narrative about poverty and crime.
The fellows embraced different types of media when telling their stories, including gaming, photography, public radio, and documentary film. Throughout the six-month fellowship, fellows received coaching from Pulitzer winner and University of Missouri professor Jacqui Banaszynski. They met with Banaszynski and ivoh staff for a day-long training workshop at The Poynter Institute for Media Studies in January, and again at the end of the fellowship.
Meet the fellows….
Dan (@archcomix) is the founder of Empathetic Media (@empatheticmedia), a new media agency that uses virtual and augmented reality to tell news stories in an immersive new way. Archer was a 2014 Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellow and a 2011 Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University, where he also taught nonfiction graphic novel writing 2008-14. His work has been published by the BBC, CBC, Vice magazine, Fusion, San Francisco Public Press, American Public Media, Truthout and PBS among others and was featured in the BBC’s Future of News Report, which came out in January 2015. Ferguson Firsthand, the first VR experience from Empathetic, was published by Fusion in 2015 and has been featured by Wired, Killscreen, Mic, Ars Technica, Nieman Storylab and the BBC Future of News report. Arc — Empathetic’s first augmented reality app — will launch in December 2015 and feature content from the Associated Press, United Nations, Columbia University’s Tow Center and The Washington Post.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: After years of violence, a small community in Colombia seeks healing and justice by sharing face-to-face the stories of victims and offenders. Using virtual reality, you too can relive their stories. The project will be comprised of short immersive experiences from all sides of the conflict (the villagers, ex-FARC guerrillas and paramilitaries), as they share their true stories of how the violence in Colombia has affected them. Mary, a villager, is a former schoolteacher who was terrorized and lost her brother-in-law to the violence; Mariano, a former guerilla in the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC), served time for the crimes he committed while mobilized; and Carlos, a former paramilitary for the United Self-Defense Forces (AUC), who is trying to piece together the fragile family life that was shattered by his time spent fighting in the jungle. Participants will be able to choose which side of the story they want their point of view to be from, to experience the conflict from multiple angles — as the eyewitness themselves — and see how by actively sharing stories, participants can overcome and heal from the pain caused by long-term violence at a national level.
Christa is a senior editor at YES! Magazine, a national solutions-oriented journalism outlet, where she covers human rights, women’s leadership, and community economic development. As a reporter, she has written about human trafficking, migration, violence against women, and other issues in the United States, India, and the Philippines. In addition to YES!, her work has appeared in Marie Claire, Narrative Magazine, NBC.com, and other publications. She lives in the Seattle area.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Christa will cover how Native American women experience, confront, and heal from sexual violence on reservations. She’ll produce a longform digital package that combines video, photography, and writing. One-third of Native American women are sexually assaulted during their lives — and many suffer lifelong symptoms of abuse, such as addiction and low self-esteem, as a result. Christa will focus on the work of Patty Stonefish, a joint-lock ninja of mixed-Lakota heritage, who leads martial arts workshops designed to help women on reservations reclaim their bodies and voices — to “reawaken” the power many feel they have lost touch with. As part of the project, Christa will examine the role historical trauma plays in Native American women’s experience of and response to violence and disempowerment. The project will explore how survivors are taking ownership of their narratives, reconnecting with their bodies, and healing their communities.
Heidi is an independent journalist based in Boston, Massachusetts. Her work has appeared in places such as National Geographic Television & Film, PRI’s “The World”, PBS’ “To the Contrary,” and others. She’s also been a producer for various PBS Kids series, including Arthur, Fetch, and Postcards from Buster. Heidi’s work has brought her around the world — diving with elderly female sea divers in Korea, documenting Nubian wedding traditions in Egypt, interviewing a North Korean filmmaker and his leading lady, and more. In her free time, she can often be found stoop-sitting, collecting oral histories, and chasing her precocious toddler.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Refugees have been coming to the U.S. for years. Their journeys are different from immigrants, who believed the streets were “paved with gold.” For many refugees, they only wanted to be safe — but once they arrive, they’re often not. Dubbed as being survivors of “double trauma,” they’ve escaped genocide and war abroad, only to be relocated into poverty in the U.S. — into neighborhoods where rates of gang violence, teen pregnancy, and substance abuse are high. Heidi will produce a series of audio and multimedia vignettes, telling the stories of refugees who have been resettled to Boston, and who have exhibited great resilience in the face of double trauma.
Moses is an assistant professor of digital media in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Florida International University. His current research is on the production and consumption of immigrant and Spanish-language, as well as the relationships between media and geography within urban environments. He is also interested in issues of media literacy and the ways in which multimedia production can be incorporated into a classroom setting in order to help students learn the skills needed for critical-analytical thinking. Moses’ work has been published in the academic journals Journalism, Media, Culture and Society, Journalism Practice, and the Journal of Urban Affairs, among others, and he’s also the editor of a recently published volume, “Mediated Communities: Civic Voices, Empowerment, and Media Literacy in the Digital Age” (Peter Lang). Prior to earning his Ph.D., he worked for nearly a decade in documentary production and was a member of production teams for nationally broadcast programs on PBS, Discovery Networks, History Channel and National Geographic.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: “Liberty Square Rising: Hope, Resistance and Resilience in Miami’s Urban Core,” is a 30-minute documentary that will tell the story of the past, present, and future of Liberty Square — Miami-Dade County’s largest public housing development, built during the Great Depression and now slated for redevelopment by the county. Told through the voices of current and former residents, activists, journalists, and historians, the film will shed light on the important history of this community and its connections to discussions of race, segregation, and empowerment currently taking place across the United States. At the same time, it will confront a national dialogue about the future of affordable housing in an era of urban revitalization and gentrification, and more immediately, on the the future of the community and its residents. A primary goal of this documentary, beyond informing and engaging audiences that may be unfamiliar with this story, will be to craft a film that moves beyond the media narratives of crime, violence and chaos that have driven most reporting on Liberty Square. To that end, ivoh’s work around Restorative Narrative will be a guiding framework for “Liberty Square Rising.” The realities of daily life in a black community like Liberty Square are so far removed from the everyday experience of so many; imagining that compassion, much less political action, will extend across that gulf is difficult. Reporting that attempts to move beyond headlines, to tell a story that confronts a painful history but also looks for strength, dignity, and hope amidst a turbulent present and uncertain future, can perhaps counterbalance the narratives that have come before.
Stories by 2016 ivoh fellows:
ivoh’s 2016 Restorative Narrative fellows have been hard at work on their fellowship projects. Here are some related links:
You can read updates from our 2015 fellowship here.
Related ivoh stories: ivoh fellows help create guiding questions for media practitioners wanting to pursue Restorative Narratives | Meet Dan Archer, 2016 Restorative Narrative fellow and a pioneer of Virtual Reality journalism | Meet Heidi Shin, 2016 Restorative Narrative fellow and multi-media journalist sharing the stories of refugees | Meet Christa Hillstrom, 2016 Restorative Narrative fellow and journalist learning about recovery from a joint-lock ninja in Fargo