Latest Essay, in Mother Jones Magazine by Bear Guerra

We’re not used to seeing the well-to-do as victims of natural catastrophes, as if they and their neighborhoods should be exempt by virtue of their economic power—as if life inside a well-constructed, gated compound guarantees security. But in this era of manmade climate change—as California’s rapid development collides with drought, fires, torrential rains—that illusion no longer holds. These disasters affect everyone eventually. Yet it’s when we try to recover from them that our class differences become starkest.

Read the essay here.


Ruxandra Guidi, 2018 Susan E. Tifft Fellow in Documentary and Journalism by Bear Guerra


In a public event at Duke University's Center for Documentary Studies (Wednesday, March 7, 2018 - 6:00pm to 8:30pm), 2018 Susan Tifft Fellow Ruxandra Guidi will present an overview of her work, and explore the question: From subject to audience, how do we as storytellers move beyond a singular voice? "Whether we find narratives at home or abroad, our audience is often an afterthought in the creative process, and frequently, it is homogeneous: white, college-educated, and often, online," Guidi says. After more than a decade working as a public radio journalist focused on Latin America and the U.S.-Mexico border, she is slowing down her approach in search of a deeper human connection, more opportunities for collaboration, and more inclusive methods of sharing her work. From her series focused on an indigenous community in Panama to a year-long exploration of the lives of older adults in Los Angeles, Guidi will offer some insights on what it takes to tell nuanced community-driven stories, and how the storytellers of today have a responsibility to challenge prevailing narratives. If you're in the Durham, NC area, please come! Details here.

Exile in White: A #VQRTrueStory Essay by Bear Guerra


"It’s Friday morning. As has been his custom for almost three decades, Miguel Natividad Borrayo is dressed in white, from his T-shirt to his shoes, to honor those imprisoned for challenging the Castro regime—men like him, who spent seventeen years doing hard labor.

“White symbolizes peace,” says Miguel. “It’s how I protest.” But there was nothing peaceful about what got him in trouble to begin with. Back in 1961, he was a thirty-two-year-old career officer in the Cuban Navy. He’d been a staunch supporter of US-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista until Fidel Castro’s successful guerrilla uprising in 1959."

Read and view the photos of our essay for Virginia Quarterly Review here.