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Posts Tagged ‘backpack video journalism’

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WASHINGTON, DC, 25 January 2016 — Dominic Bracco II, a freelance photojournalist and writer based in Mexico City, addresses a crowd at the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting in the nation’s capital.

From his web site: “Dominic Bracco II explores the effects of global economics on local communities. Although he works internationally, Dominic’s work often returns to document the effects of Mexican and North American policies on the Texas / Mexico border region where he was raised. He has degrees in journalism and Spanish literature from The University of Texas at Arlington. Past clients include Harper’s Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, and Smithsonian Magazine. Dominic is also a founding member of the collective Prime. He is based in Mexico City.”

Dominic is one of many young, multi-talented freelance journalists filling the void left by mainstream media organizations pulling back from coverage overseas.

A couple of students from my Foreign Correspondence class and I attended Dominic’s presentation. Well worth the effort.

(Photos by Bill Gentile)

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HAVANA, Cuba, 2 January 2017 – Cubans carry placards through the Plaza de la Revolucion during a parade in honor of the country’s Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias (FAR), or Revolutionary Armed Forces.

This placard depicts a very young Fidel Castro, who rose to power in January 1959. The parade took place only weeks after Castro’s death in November 2016. Many Cubans still are processing the fact that Castro is gone.

The words “Fidel Es El Pueblo” mean, “Fidel Is The People.”

My Cuban-American wife, Esther, and I visited her family on the island over the Christmas holidays.

(Photo by Bill Gentile)

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HAVANA, Cuba, 2 January 2017 – Thousands of Cubans march through the Plaza de la Revolucion during a parade honoring this nation’s Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias (FAR), or Revolutionary Armed Forces.

On the building in the background is an outline of Che Guevara, the Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, guerrilla leader, diplomat, military theorist and close ally of deceased Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

(Photo by Bill Gentile)

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HAVANA, Cuba, 2 January 2017 – Three Cuban women walk arm-in-arm toward the Plaza de la Revolucion to witness a parade honoring this nation’s Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias (FAR), or Revolutionary Armed Forces.

They will arrive at the Plaza de la Revolucion where the Monumento a José Martí, Cuba’s national hero, towers over the parade ground.

This was a quiet, even somber event. It took place only weeks after the death of Fidel Castro, who seized power here in 1959 and died in November 2016. Many Cubans still are processing the fact that Castro is gone.

Throughout this march, I sensed a respect for the fallen Cuban leader – even from Cubans who disagree with the system that he put into place. Many Cubans criticize the system in which they live. But my experience has been that few will directly criticize the man who created it.

I didn’t ask these women about all this. Perhaps I should have.

(Photo by Bill Gentile)

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HAVANA, Cuba, 2 January 2017 – Cubans assemble along a main thoroughfare leading into the Plaza de la Revolucion to watch a parade honoring this nation’s Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias (FAR), or Revolutionary Armed Forces.

Here, members of the Cuban Army gather just after dawn with civilians on one major highway leading to the event.

I had expected to see a show of Cuba’s military might. Tanks. An array of military vehicles. Heavy weaponry. In other words, a show of force. But I saw none of it. Perhaps this reflected a decision by Cuban authorities who did not want to provoke the incoming U.S. administration — or not.

That’s the way it is in Cuba.

(Photo by Bill Gentile)

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HAVANA, Cuba, 2 January 2017 – Cubans wait in early-morning light to witness a parade honoring this nation’s Fuerzas Armadas Revolutionarias, (FAR), or Revolutionary Armed Forces. In the background is the Plaza de la Revolucion.

My Cuban-American wife, Esther, and I visited her family on the island over the Christmas holidays

We did not expect to see significant changes as a result of Fidel Castro’s recent passing. And we didn’t. Not, at least, in the way the place operates.

Instead, I detected a lingering affection and respect for the Cuban leader – even from Cubans who chafe at the system that he built and that he left behind. To many, Fidel was like a failing grandfather with whose opinion they often differed. But many of these same Cubans also recognized that the old man was responsible for making them, and the island they live on, something more grand than they might have been without him.

I’m still unpacking, physically and otherwise, from the three-week trip. As I do so, I recall what one of my students told me after spending four months with me in Cuba, taking one of my photojournalism classes.

“Nothing is black and white here,” she said. “Everything is shades of gray,” and deciphering the place is a formidable task.

I’ll be posting more pictures as I continue to unpack.

(Photo by Bill Gentile)

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WASHINGTON, DC, 15 November 2016 — American University is featuring an article about my “Backpack Documentary en Español” class, the first-ever Spanish-language class to be taught in the School of Communication.

To read the article (in English), click HERE.

And below is a bit of information from my syllabus:

El primer curso impartido en español en la Escuela de Comunicación, Documental de Mochila en Español es un curso interdisciplinario impartido íntegramente en español para los estudiantes con alto dominio de la lengua. La clase es apropiada para los estudiantes de grado o de posgrado, así como los profesionales, que quieren aprender a producir, por ellos mismos, cortometrajes documentales para la televisión o Internet.

Este curso es el modelo de mi propia experiencia como periodista visual en el campo desde 1977, cuando fui a trabajar a Noticias de México como reportero / fotógrafo / editor. Un año más tarde estaba trabajando como corresponsal / editor / reportero gráfico en el United Press International (UPI). En 1985 cuando vivía en Nicaragua firmé en la revista Newsweek como fotógrafo Contrato para América Latina y el Caribe. En 1995 fui a trabajar con Vídeo News International (VNI), un audaz experimento puesto en marcha a mediados de 1990 y con sede en Filadelfia, Pensilvania. El fundador de VNI fue el primero en este país en entender que los avances en la tecnología digital podían revolucionar y democratizar el proceso de recopilación de noticias de televisión y la comunicación visual en general. Ahora, el Internet nos permite el acceso a los medios de distribución global.

Este curso se basa en la premisa de que un periodista de vídeo debidamente entrenado, solo o en un pequeño equipo de trabajo, puede contar historias con imágenes poderosas y palabras inteligentes, usando cámaras digitales de mano, de una manera más íntima, más inmediata, de comunicación más fluida de la se puede conseguir con un equipo de trabajo grande y de cámaras grandes al hombro — y por una fracción del costo. Las herramientas y las técnicas que se enseñan en este curso le ayudará a competir en el campo muy fértil y creciente que llamamos periodismo visual, o la comunicación visual.

El componente de “mochila” de esta metodología se refiere no sólo a la naturaleza compacta y la portabilidad de los equipos utilizados. También es una referencia a las aptitudes múltiples de sus practicantes. Durante este curso, usted aprenderá a utilizar algunos de los más modernos y sofisticados equipos disponibles. Y usted aprenderá las habilidades esenciales para la práctica efectiva del oficio.

Saludos,

Bill Gentile

(Photo by Jeff Watts)

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