Citizen Film and Columbia University’s Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies are initiating collaborations around the country. With partners ranging from Columbia’s Center for New Media Teaching and Learning to the Contemporary Jewish Museum -San Francisco, we use ubiquitous media tools to engage professors, students and audiences in imaginative explorations of Jewish themes. From multimedia portfolios exploring New York photographers and their legacies, to digital stories about Jewish life in the Pacific Northwest, we’re catalyzing projects at the new, visual turn in Jewish Studies, deepening engagement with Jewish themes and
inventing new modes of scholarship in the process.
The New Media in Jewish Studies Collaborative seeks to inspire collaboration between scholars and the community at large. For example, one of our partnering institutions is the Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM.)
The CJM exhibited professor Deborah Dash Moore + Citizen Film’s “Liberating Lens” multimedia project exploring images and words by Alfred Stieglitz, and the museum’s education department helped us reach out to many Bay Area students, who posted their own work in response.
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Stieglitz-Inspired photo submissions
Stieglitz said that only after looking at his photographs for a while could he tell anything about their meaning. In other words, looking at his printed pictures, he noticed things he didn’t see during the act of taking the picture.
Look closely at a photo you’ve taken that has special significance for you; an unusual picture that captures emotion. Look at the picture for longer than usual. What do you notice about it? What do you feel?
I notice how my hands are shown in the water and how it affects the overall balance of the whole composure. Also, now looking at it again, I see the complete circular balance in the photo and I notice how complex and interesting the simple fountain in my backyard can be. When looking at this photo, I feel a sense of serenity, but I am also taken back of the dark purple color of the water. I also see the balance of the photo, which gives the photo meaning.
This photo was originally a mistake, but upon a second look I came to love its painting-like quality. For me it represents the feeling that oftentimes life takes the reins and you can’t always control the outcome. You can only hold on and persevere in the face of adversity.
There’s something in the barn, behind the doors, that I didn’t notice before. A wheelbarrow, perhaps? This photo evokes feelings of warmth, happiness, and security…which is interesting because I spent the second half of this Christmas weekend rather upset. But a brief moment of reflection and wonder at the sight of the warm barn at dusk makes me remember the weekend fondly.
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