Getting Others Right: Engaged Documentary Storytelling in Words, Sounds, and Images

Nonfiction storytelling reminds us that we’re not alone, that real life conflicts and resolutions, causes for pain and joy in others, are not so unlike our own. But as storytellers, how can we be sure that we’re getting it right? Documentary storytelling’s greatest potential lies in its ability to connect us with others across cultural, ethnic, socio-economic, and geographic divides. Typically we are, after all, outsiders attempting to create a portrait of people and places that aren’t part of our own history. How then do we “get others right” by sharing stories that are empathetic, culturally sensitive, and honor our own individual voices?


Ruxandra Guidi 

Ruxandra Guidi has sixteen years of experience in public radio, magazines, and multimedia, and has reported throughout the United States, the Caribbean, South and Central America, as well as Mexico and the U.S.-Mexico border region. She holds a Master’s degree in journalism from U.C. Berkeley and has worked as a reporter, editor, and producer for NPR’s Latino USA, the BBC, The World among many others. She’s reported extensively throughout South America, having been a freelance foreign correspondent based in Bolivia and in Ecuador. Her in-depth magazine features, essays, and radio documentaries have appeared on the BBC World Service, National Public Radio, High Country News, Guernica Magazine, The New York Times, and Virginia Quarterly Review. Ruxandra is a native of Caracas, Venezuela.

Bear Guerra

Bear Guerra is a photographer whose work explores globalization, development, and social and environmental justice issues in communities typically underrepresented in the media. He typically works on long-term projects, and his images, photo essays, and multimedia stories have been published by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Le Monde, the BBC, NPR, and many others; and have been exhibited widely. Bear has been a finalist for a prestigious National Magazine Award in Photojournalism; and was a 2013-14 Ted Scripps Fellow in Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado. Originally from San Antonio, TX, Bear has worked extensively throughout Latin America, and is currently based in Los Angeles, CA.

Read more about Ruxandra Guidi and Bear Guerra.