On Tuesday, May 1, 2018, please join the Pulitzer Center at the Black Box Theater at R.J. Reynolds High School for a screening of the student-produced documentary, "Placing Identity." The film was developed during a three-week documentary filmmaking workshop led by Winston-Salem multimedia artist Diana Greene as part of Pulitzer Center's NewsArts initiative, which was launched in fall 2016 to explore intersections of art and news. Supported by a grant from The Winston-Salem Foundation, the workshop taught R.J. Reynolds High School journalism students how to apply visual storytelling skills to the creation of a short film that connects global issues to students' local communities.
"Placing Identity" begins with two questions: Does where we live affect the person we become? What creates our identity? Specifically, students examined Forsyth County’s poverty rate and the forces inhibiting a person’s economic mobility. Through field trips, interviews, and classroom workshop experiences, students experimented with what it means to document people, to portray identity by layering videos that illuminate personality and suggest metaphor. Students also connected with grantee Daniella Zalcman to explore how visual storytelling can be used to sensitively and responsibly communicate the stories of traditionally under-represented communities.
Greene collaborated with co-producer Stan Wright and associate producer Miles McKeller-Smith, filmmakers at the graduate Documentary Film Program at Wake Forest University, to create the "Placing Identity" curriculum and mentor students as they developed segments for the final film. Greene and Wright also led R.J. Reynolds students in developing the film "Weaving Connections" in spring 2017, which explored students' connections to the global textiles industry.