MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts Class of 2021

In the 10th year of the Duke MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts, we are thrilled to celebrate our 9th graduating class.

The MFA|EDA has always been about working around the edges of artistic convention, merging analog and digital language and techniques into appropriately rich forms of narrative. With the work of these graduates, we witness the power of diverse mediums to tell necessary stories with poignance, lyricism, and relevance.

Our MFA program has always attracted documentary makers from diverse backgrounds, who over the two-year program explore widely. It’s perfectly natural for filmmakers to learn from photographers, for photographers to learn from writers, and so the currents of ideas and influences ripple through our learning. We learn by watching and listening to those across from us at the studio table, then turning to the making to see what comes next.

Our common ground is to tell stories from observation, engagement, research, and experience, prompted by investigation into worlds familiar and uncommon, beautiful and troubling. COVID-19 has marked us and our artistic work throughout the last year. However, despite the plethora of pandemic challenges, the work of these nine MFA graduates speaks with eloquence to our collective moment while simultaneously declaring universal and timeless truths beyond our current time.

– Thomas Rankin

Director, MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts
Professor of the Practice of Art and Documentary, Art, Art History, and Visual Studies

2021 thesis exhibition site