Elon University Winter Term class participates in ethnography project in London, showcases work on campus

Marlena Chertock

FEB. 24, 2011

For three weeks in Jan. 2011, one Winter Term course went to London to research, learn about and complete a documentary video on immigrant communities in London.

The class, called called London Immigrant Communities through Photographs and Words Winter Term, was in London for more than travel. The students participated in research and an ethnography project about several immigrant communities in London, including the Muslim community, the Asian community and the Bangladeshi community.

The class was taught by Ken Hassell and Safia Swimelar.

Students showcased their video projects Feb. 23 at 6:00 p.m. in the Isabella Cannon Room in the Center for the Arts. The room was filled with students and professors and Leo Lambert was also in attendance.

The films lasted about five to fifteen minutes and included a variety of media, including audio, still photography and video. The students were attempting to represent the members of the community fairly and accurately.

The experience of such a study abroad is unique, according to Hassell.

“(Students are) finding these people on their own and interviewing them and finding out their stories,” he said. “I think it’s really kind of remarkable and a different kind of study abroad. It is an immersion. They’re spending time with these people.”

The experience is exceptional, according to Hassell.

“It’s really what study abroad should be,” he said.


Professor Hassell talks about the challenges of ethnography

Professor Hassell talks about study abroad experiences

Senior Marlee Belmonte talks about the ethnography expereience


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About Marlena Chertock

Marlena Chertock's first collection of poetry, On that one-way trip to Mars, is available from Bottlecap Press. Her articles have appeared in The Washington Post, Marketplace, and WTOP. Her poems and fiction has appeared in The Deaf Poets Society, Moonsick Magazine, and Paper Darts.

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