213108 Honoring Farmworkers' Voice: A Collaborative Approach to Public Health Documentary Projects

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 4:50 PM

Tennessee Jane Watson , Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, Durham, NC
One of the best-known documentaries about the lives of farmworkers is “Harvest of Shame” by Edward R. Murrow. This film helped to inform thousands of people in the United States about the exploitation of farmworkers and eventually led to the creation of federally funded programs designed to improve the lives of farmworkers. The film has since been criticized for its patronizing tone, and singular focus on the hardships farmworkers face. Do we have to portray farmworkers as victims in a desperate situation in order to inspire change? Audio producer and farmworker advocate Tennessee Watson will discuss approaches to documentary work that seek to move beyond the portrayal of farmworkers solely as victims. In this session the presenter will share work from Farmworkers Feed Us All, and facilitate a discussion about problematic representations of farmworkers, storytelling strategies and how to design documentary projects where farmworkers take an active role in shaping the representation of their lives and experiences.

Learning Objectives:
Discuss how a collaborative approach to documentary storytelling leads to a deeper and more holistic understanding of the lives of farmworkers.

Keywords: Environmental Justice, Occupational Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Documentarian and outreach worker in migrant health
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.