MFA|EDA Artist-in-Residence James Longley, Feb 11-20

Duke University MFA|EDA is pleased to share the schedule of events slated for the upcoming
James Longley Residency, February 11-20, 2015


Award-winning documentary filmmaker James Longley will be visiting Duke University February 11-20, 2015 as an artist-in-residence with the Master of Fine Arts in Experimental and Documentary Arts program. His visit coincides with his first still photography exhibition, Kabul, Afghanistan, on view through February 20, at the Power Plant Gallery at American Tobacco in downtown Durham.

James Longley’s works examine the lives of people in conflict zones, mostly in the Middle East and South Asia. Longley’s 2006 film, Iraq in Fragments, offers an intimate view of the early years of the Iraq War through three different points of view. The film won numerous honors, including three jury awards at Sundance, the grand jury award at Full Frame Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award. His short, Sari’s Mother (2007), was also nominated for an Academy Award. Longley was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2009 and a USA Ford Fellow in 2011.

 “James Longley is a filmmaker whose intimate portraits of people in politically volatile countries in the Middle East are deepening our understanding of the historical and cultural dimensions of the region’s conflicts,” says his MacArthur Fellow nomination. Living among the films protagonists “he captures his subjects in very personal settings and situations, revealing both the inhumanity of everyday life under conditions of war, political chaos, and economic devastation and the parallel universe of courage, resilience, and resistance.” He is currently at work on a new documentary about a school in Kabul.

Through his exhibition at the Power Plant Gallery, Longley’s work challenges conceptions of Kabul through his focus on the Jada-e-Maiwand neighborhood and photography’s role as capturing ‘frozen moments’ in time. As Longley explains, “the ordinary limitations of a photograph’s frame hardly do the place justice. In these panoramas, still images are sequenced to create one photograph. Individual vignettes play out across a canvas from left to right in physical and temporal space; each scene is united in a short, thirty-second movie.” Longley’s engagement with students from throughout Duke University disciplines is an opportunity to provide multiple perspectives on conflict and both the individuals and people affected.

For more information on the James Longley Residency or the exhibition, Kabul, Afghanistan please contact: Caitlin Margaret Kelly, Public Programs Director, Power Plant Gallery, or 919-660-3622.



Kenan Institute for Ethics
Student Luncheon with James Longley
Info and RSVP here
101 West Duke

James Longley Welcome Reception
MFA|EDA Carpentry Shop

James Longley on The State of Things
WUNC 91.5

MFA|EDA Critique
Presenting:  Tamika Galanis + Jon-Sesrie Goff
Respondent: James Longley
Full Frame Theater

Power Plant Screening
Iraq in Fragments and Sari’s Mother
Followed by Q&A with director James Longley
Reserve free tickets here
Full Frame Theater

Forum for Publics and Scholars
Lunch discussion with James Longley
Old Chem 101, West Campus

Closing Reception
Kabul, Afghanistan
Photographs by James Longley
Power Plant Gallery


The James Longley Residency is supported by Duke University’s MFA|EDA, Center for Documentary Studies, Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts, Arts of the Moving Image, Middle East Studies Center (DUMESC), David M. Rubenstein Archive of Documentary Arts, Kenan Institute for Ethics, Forum for Publics and Scholars, Islamic Studies Center (DISC)

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