MDOCS Storytellers' Institute


Each June, Skidmore College’s John B. Moore Documentary Studies Collaborative (MDOCS) hosts a weekend-long Documentary Forum– public events combining festival presentations of artistic work with symposium-style conversations around an annual theme. See the full schedule for MDOCS Forum 2021 here.

In 2017, we brought together makers, scholars, activists and students to explore Space & Place in Documentary. See the full list of events for 2017 Festosium II: Space & Place. In 2018, we engaged with the theme Surveil/Surveilled in documentary and analyze documentary as a form of surveillance, consider the ethics and legalities of observing and the vulnerability of being observed, learn how to protect from surveillance, and engage with the documentary material that surveillance systems yield to explore its storytelling and truth telling potentials. Read about the 2018 keynote speakers, Filmmaker Assia Boundaoui and Artist Hasan Elahi and see the Full 2018 schedule here!

In 2019 our theme was Humor Laughing With Reality.  In a world continually on the brink of apocalypse, in which absurdity is a daily occurrence, how can we not laugh at reality if we want to survive it? See full schedule for 2019 here!


Building on last year’s theme and the new Mellon supported MDOCS Co-creation Initiative– Projects in Public Life, we delve into both the pleasures and complications of collaboration, as well as asking how the pandemic has compelled the reevaluation and reinvention of co-creation. How are artists and storytellers retooling their collaborative strategies for social distancing? How are we using the virtual space in creative new ways to connect across vast distances and build an equitable digital future? And how has collaboration become newly imperative in order to survive in a time of plague, even though it has always been essential to sustaining and invigorating communities? Read more…

See the full schedule for MDOCS Forum 2021 here.


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