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[ SOW program ]

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"Individual commitment to a group effort -- that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."

-Vince Lombardi


[the program]

The application process for SOW begins in November of the fall semester when applications are distributed. Each candidate is interviewed and the team is selected and notified by winter break. During this time, the returning SOW members decide upon the country of study.


The SOW program is divided into four fundamental practices:

[1] pre-trip educational preparation

Members enroll in a student-led house course in the spring semester, where we explore types of documentary work, the ethics behind documentary work, and do a historical, cultural, and political study of the region we will be traveling to. Additionally. each team member contributes to fundraising for the trip by applying for university grants.

[2] the team trip

The team trip is an intense 3-4week experience in May. While at the trip site, students will conduct research and document their findings in the medium of their choice (photography, film, writing, oral interviews, etc). Also, members have the option of applying for additional grant money to stay in the country longer to continue research and/or travel more within the country.

[3] summer work

Work on documentary projects begins immediately during the summer months. Members develop and print film, write about their experiences, and formulate a detailed project plan that they can implement in the fall.

[4] follow-up initiatives

Upon returning to school in the fall, SOW members enroll in a follow-up house course where projects are produced and disseminated to the Duke and Durham community. Common projects include photo exhibits, documentary films, photo essays, panel discussions involving the student body, and class presentations.


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