Hunter College / The Accident that Pricks: Family and Photography

The MFA Program in Integrated Media Arts (IMA) offers advanced studies in multimedia documentary arts. The IMA Program educates multi-disciplinary, socially engaged media makers in a diverse range of skills across the media landscape. Working with faculty from film, emerging media, and journalism backgrounds, students learn to conceptualize, create and distribute innovative, politically and socially engaged expression using contemporary media technologies.

The Accident that Pricks: Family and Photography
Lynne Sachs
3 sessions, 1 credit – Fall 2022 and Spring 2024
Final Showcase Friday February 23, 2024

Course Description:
The Accident that Pricks: Family and Photography is a course in which we will explore the ways in which images of our mother, father, sister, brother, cousin, grand-parent, aunt or uncle might become material for the making of a personal film.  Each participant will come to the first day with a single photograph they want to examine.  You will then create a cinematic presence for this image by incorporating storytelling and performance. In the process, we will discuss and challenge notions of truth-telling and language.  This course is inspired by French theorist Roland Barthes’ theory of the punctum, the intensely subjective effect of a photograph, and Italian novelist Natalia Ginzburg’s writing on her family living under Fascism during World War II.  Ginzburg was a prescient artist who enjoyed mixing up conventional distinctions between fiction and non-fiction: “Every time that I have found myself inventing something in accordance with my old habits as a novelist, I have felt compelled at once to destroy it. The places, events, and people are all real.”  Each student participant will produce a live performance with moving image which will be presented at the end of our third class meeting.