SAF centers farmworker voices in our work. We recognize the power and transformation of sharing stories and building relationships between students and farmworkers. We practice documentary storytelling with farmworkers in order to hear about their lives, their work, and their hopes for change. We also practice documentary storytelling with SAF students—using photography, artwork, and blog writing to explore identity, to reflect on their experiences, and to share their contributions to the movement for farmworker justice.
SAF’s history is rooted in this work as students that helped develop SAF as an organization documented conditions in migrant labor camps as early as the 1970s. Each summer since our inception as a nonprofit in 1992, SAF students have worked collaboratively with farmworkers to create photos, writing, and artwork to tell stories about their lives. Through oral history interviews and participatory documentary workshops, SAF students learn that the most important outcome of their documentary work isn’t necessarily the final product; it is the growth that happens to individuals and communities when they create space to begin to understand each other. Each project the students complete is an act of resistance against a status quo that ignores the voices of workers and immigrants.
SAF works with the Duke Human Rights Archive to archive our hundreds of student-led projects, interviews, essays, photographs, audio & video recordings, as well as publications, outreach & teaching materials, and materials related to labor organizing and protests. Materials are in English and Spanish.
Thank you to our partners at the Center for Documentary Studies for their on-going support of our documentary work.