Cassilhaus Travel Fellowship Presentation: Alina Taalman, May 4

All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.
Martin Buber


Please join us for the inaugural Cassilhaus Travel Fellowship presentation, featuring the work-in-progress of 2016 Cassilhaus Travel Fellow Alina Taalman, May 4, 6:00pm at the Full Frame Theater in downtown Durham.

The work, entitled Kolmas Punkt, (The Third Point), Taalman says, “…traces past explorations and family lines across Estonian land and water, reflecting on former ways of seeing to interpret a strangely familiar landscape. The film was created over the course of two artist residency programs in Estonia in 2017, from the coastal farmland of Polli Talu to the Tartu Artist in Residence (TAIR) program in the center of the country’s second largest city.”

The Cassilhaus Travel Fellowship, made possible through a partnership between Cassilhaus, the Master of Fine Arts in Experimental and Documentary Arts (MFA|EDA), and the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University (CDS), was created with the idea that travel can be transformative in the life of an emerging artist. The biennial $10,000 fellowship, funded by Ellen Cassilly and Frank Konhaus of Cassilhaus, supports Duke University MFA|EDA graduates for an eighteen-month period in their artistic research and practice beyond the traditional educational environment.

The recipient of the inaugural Cassilhaus Travel Fellowship, Alina Taalman (MFA|EDA Class of 2015), traveled to Estonia to “make a film that explores my Estonian family history, which has always been broken into fleeting narratives,” she writes. “Both of my parents have Estonian roots. My mother’s father sailed from Estonia at an early age and spent most of his adult life on the water, from the Baltic Sea to the Hudson Bay. Ship flags, nautical charts, and fragments of homesick letters have left us with just trace evidence of his experiences on the water. . . . My own father left Estonia on a boat for the United States many years later.”

“We are thrilled that Alina Taalman has been awarded the first Cassilhaus Travel Fellowship for her thoughtful Estonia project and are particularly excited that she is including an artist residency component,” Ellen Cassilly and Frank Konhaus said of the inaugural fellowship. “This opportunity honors our parents as great champions of both education and travel. We believe extended travel has a unique power to educate, enrich, and transform people and take them places far beyond the point they initially disembarked. We feel fortunate to have the MFA|EDA and the Center for Documentary Studies as partners in this adventure.”

Taalman’s fellowship began in August 2016 and culminates with the public presentation on May 4, 2018, 6:00pm at the Full Frame Theater. The 2018 Cassilhaus Travel Fellowship will be announced at the event and publicized shortly thereafter.

The Inaugural Cassilhaus Travel Fellowship Presentation
Alina Taalman: Kolmas Punkt (The Third Point)
16mm / Digital Video / Color / Black & White / 30 minutes

Friday, May 4, 2018
Full Frame Theater
320 Blackwell Street
American Tobacco Campus
Durham, NC


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