Five Fellows from across the United States will receive grants as part of the 2015-2016 Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship to travel overseas and use multi-media storytelling techniques to build awareness of transnational challenges, the U.S. Department of State and the National Geographic Society announced yesterday.
The Fellows were selected by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board following an academic review and recommendations by an editorial panel of National Geographic staff. Over a nine-month period, the Fellows will share their stories on a dedicated National Geographic blog using a variety of digital storytelling tools, including photography, video, audio, graphic illustrations, and social media. Editors from National Geographic will mentor the Fellows to help them tell their stories to a global audience.
- Ari Beser, from Baltimore, Maryland, will travel throughout Japan to tell the stories of the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the 5th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake, Tsunami, and nuclear meltdowns in Fukushima. His goal is to produce a “blogumentary,” which gives voice to the people directly affected by nuclear technology today.
- Ryan Bell, from Seattle, Washington, is a writer and photographer who travels the world documenting “cowboy” cultures. For this Fellowship, he will travel through rural Russia and Kazakhstan for his project, titled “Comrade Cowboys,” documenting pastoralists who are working to rebuild cattle industries decimated by the fall of the Soviet Union.
- Janice Cantieri, from St. Louis, Missouri, will travel between the Pacific island nations of Kiribati and Fiji. She will tell the stories of the Banaban Islanders, who were displaced to Fiji in 1945, and the stories of those currently facing displacement from Tarawa, Kiribati to Fiji as the sea level rise inundates parts of the islands.
- Hiba Dlewati, from Grand Blanc, Michigan, is a Syrian American writer who will travel throughout Jordan, Turkey, and Sweden to document the stories of the Syrian diaspora. By the end of the project, she plans to produce a film that expresses the frustrations and triumphs of a people without a place, or perhaps, a people of many places.
- Christina Geros, from Cambridge, Massachusetts, will be based in Jakarta, Indonesia. She is a designer, researcher, and educator whose project gives voice to the communities of the Ciliwung River through an interactive website, mapping stories that expose the relationships between urbanism, ecology, and politics.
The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program and is supported by the people of the United States and partner countries around the world. Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 360,000 participants from more than 160 countries with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.
The Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship was launched in 2013 as a component of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. It provides opportunities for U.S. citizens to participate in an academic year of overseas travel and digital storytelling in up to three countries on a globally significant theme. This Fellowship is made possible through a partnership between the U.S. Department of State and the National Geographic Society.
Visit the the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship website for more information and details on applying.
This post was based on the official Fulbright press release.
David Braun is director of outreach with the digital and social media team illuminating the National Geographic Society’s explorer, science, and education programs.
He edits National Geographic Voices, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society’s mission and major initiatives. Contributors include grantees and Society partners, as well as universities, foundations, interest groups, and individuals dedicated to a sustainable world. More than 50,000 readers have participated in 10,000 conversations.
Braun also directs the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship.