A Conversation with 2012 MacArthur Fellow Laura Poitras
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Reception to follow, 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
MacArthur "Genius Grant" recipient and documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras discusses her award-winning films, current projects, and the Guggenheim Fellowship with Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel.
Co-sponsored by the Rare Book, Manuscript and Special Collections Library, the Program in the Arts of the Moving Image, and the Center for Documentary Studies
About The Series
With generous funding from the Diamonstein-Spielvogel endowment fund,
Duke University has established the Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel
Visiting Filmmaker Series. The series will feature artists whose work
addresses significant contemporary topics of social, political,
economic, and cultural urgency. Filmmakers chosen to participate will
have a recognized body of work and show promise of future contributions
to documentary filmmaking. Visiting filmmakers will be invited to Duke
for a two-day residency.
Documentary filmmaker and Guggenheim Fellow, Laura Poitras, will be featured in the Diamonstein-Spielvogel Visiting Filmmaker Series on October 24th, 2012 with a talk at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.
The Diamonstein-Spielvogel series is unique in its exclusive attention to documentary filmmakers with a global perspective. By giving Duke faculty and their students an opportunity to explore the films of socially engaged filmmakers and discuss the work with them, this new series hopes to inspire and encourage the next generation of young documentarians. Duke's Rare Book Manuscript and Special Collections Library launched the Diamonstein-Spielvogel Video Archive in 2008.
Prescreening of all films at 7:00pm at the Griffith Film Theater.
Flag Wars: Wednesday October 3
My Country, My Country: Monday October 8
The Oath: Monday October 22
Laura Poitras was nominated for an Academy Award, an Independent Spirit Award, and an Emmy Award for the first documentary of her trilogy, The New American Century. My Country, My Country (2006), a documentary about the U.S. occupation of Iraq was co-produced with ITVS, released theatrically by Zeitgeist Films, and broadcast on P.O.V./PBS.
She received a Cinematography Award from the Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Emmy for her second documentary, The Oath (2010), the story of Abu Jandal, Osama bin Laden’s former bodyguard, and Salim Hamdan, a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay Prison and the first man to face the controversial military commissions.
Currently working in the third and final portion of her trilogy, Poitras has become increasingly affected and concerned with the growing surveillance techniques. In 2012, she participated in “The Surveillance Teach-In,” an artistic and practical commentary on living in the contemporary Panopticon, part of the three month exposition of contemporary American art at the Whitney Museum.
Poitras is the recipient of a 2012 MacArthur Fellowship, Peabody Award, Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Media Arts Fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation/Tribeca Film Institute. She has attended the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Storytelling and Edit Lab as both a Fellow and creative advisor. Her work has received support from the Independent Television Service (ITVS), P.O.V./American Documentary, Creative Capital, Sundance Documentary Film Program, Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund, the Vital Projects Fund, NYSCA, Jerome Foundation, Chicken and Egg Pictures, and others. Before making documentaries, she worked as a professional chef. She lives in New York City.
Throughout her long career, Dr. Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel has served as a defining voice on major urban issues, including the historic built environment of the United States. She is a pioneering advocate of the arts, credited with bringing the first public art to Bryant Park and the first public performance to Central Park. The first Director of Cultural Affairs for New York City, she was the longest term Landmarks Commissioner in the city's history, spanning five mayoral administrations from 1972 to 1987. She also served as the Commissioner of the New York City Arts/Public Design Commission and of the New York City Cultural Commission. She was the Chair of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Foundation, and since 1995 is the Chair of the Historic Landmarks Preservation Center. She was the Vice Chair of the New York State Council on the Arts in 2008. In 2012, she was appointed by the Port Authority to advise the agency on how it can best integrate public art and architecture into the World Trade Center site.
Dr. Diamonstein-Spielvogel served under four Presidential administrations including President Lyndon Johnson where she helped create the White House Fellows, and Presidential Scholars Programs, and the White House Festival of the Arts. She was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the board of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.; and by President William J. Clinton to the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, where she was elected the first woman Vice Chair in its more than 100-year history. In 2010, President Barack Obama appointed her Commissioner for the American Battle Monuments Commission.
She has written 20 books and dozens of magazine and newspaper articles, has served as interviewer/producer of nine television series for the Arts & Entertainment Network in addition to numerous programs for other national networks and curator of seven international museum exhibitions - one of which is currently traveling to 82 countries under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State, and another is currently traveling to 14 cities throughout New York State. The recipient of numerous honors and awards, Dr. Diamonstein-Spielvogel was names a "Legend" by Pratt Institute, a Landmarks Lion by the Historic Distsricts Council in 2010 and received an Elly Award honoring her as an outstanding woman leader in 2012. She wil be the recipient of the John Jay Heritage Award in Autumn 2012. Over a hundred of her television interviews, many of which were shown at the Leo Castelli Gallery, are now available on iTunes and YouTube, digitized by the Diamonstein-Spielvogel Video Archive at Duke University. Her personal papers are housed at Duke University's Rubenstein Library. She is married to the leading international business executive, former U.S. Ambassador to the Slovak Republic, Carl Spielvogel.
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