Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Thousands of customers pass through Durham Station every day. Where are they from? Where are they headed? How does transit fit into their lives?
Duke Masters of Fine Arts filmmaker Joel Wanek took his camera and spent time at Durham Station and along DATA Route 16 with stops in East Durham including “The Village” and NC Highway 98. The film “Heart of Durham” will be screened on the second floor of Durham Station on Thursday, April 4th between 5 P.M. and 8 P.M.
Joel moved back to Durham after 13 years of living in Chicago and says he immediately noticed a lot of changes to downtown. “Durham Station struck me as a very active, vibrant social space, seemingly designed to foster interaction between people. I think it is one of the few places in Durham that really encourages this kind of social exchange. The way the buses pull into the station all at the same time every half an hour creates this rush of people that pass by each other so you inevitably run into people you wouldn’t otherwise.”
The title Heart of Durham has special meaning for the city. The transportation station was built on the site where the Heart of Durham Hotel once stood. Wanek says the film is an impressionistic ride on the bus from early morning into day. “Heart of Durham” lets us sit in a seat and view the chance encounters and interactions that happen on public transit. “The camera is used as a tool for interaction and exchange, an instrument for initiating a dialogue.”
Wanek calls Durham Station, which opened in 2009, “a celebration of sunlight.” It has 20 canopied bus bays, parking spaces for taxicabs, disability parking, and short-term parking as well as bicycle racks and a drop-off location for “kiss and ride.” The predominantly glass exterior walls offer a secure environment, visibility of transportation activity, and views of the downtown area, Historic American Tobacco, West Village, and the surrounding areas.
In screening the film at Durham Station, Joel says it’s like bringing the project home. “It’s important to me to screen it in the space where much of it was shot and for the people that helped me make it.”
More information about the film can be found here and more information about Durham, NC can be found here.