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Publishing Class works with Photographer who worked in Zimbabwe

by Selina McCallum

This year’s publishing class is working with author and photographer Doug MacLellan who’s book In The Face of It All will include stories and photos he took of people in an AIDS clinic in Zimbabwe. 

Glendale, Zimbabwe. 2006. — Doctor and anesthesiologist at tea break after their first round of daily surgeries. — The Howard Hospital is a well established Salvation Army rural mission hospital located north of Harare, Zimbabwe. It is so entrenched in the Chiweshe community that they consider it as their own. Photo taken by Douglas MacLellan.

Marty Gervais is the professor for this course. He talked about what makes this course special.

“What is special about it is that it provides students with the first-hand experience of editing a book, preparing it for publication and then seeing it through all the steps to market and publish it,” said Gervais. “This is the only course of that kind in Canada.”

Maclean’s Magazine a year ago called this course at the University of Windsor “one of the coolest.”

Students in this course are able to acquire skills such as editing text, evaluating the work of creative artists and designing and laying out a book before it gets published. It’s like an internship that they receive a credit for.

MacLellan is pleased to have students work on In The Face of It All.

“I really like having the students’ involvement. New eyes to look at my work. I was so happy when the photo editing group made the last selections — such a quantum leap for the book,” said MacLellan. “We also got the title from a student, Nate; the book really took off from there.”

Heather M’Cardell is a student in the course and has worked on selecting the photos for the book and copy editing.

“This class has helped me experience real work-related situations, and I feel that because of this class I will be better prepared for meetings and meeting deadlines when I enter the workforce,” said M’Cardell.

Photo taken in Nairobi, Kenya by Douglas MacLellan.

MacLellan is known as a social activist photographer and has only travelled for work. He likes people and can often identify with their situations. He says photojournalism means taking photos with a message.

“I get to know people, understand them and their situation better. My messages are usually about compassion and dignity. I also try to show some hope especially in the more dire situations,” said MacLellan.

A master basket maker shows her products at the Hagadera Refugee Camp near Dadaab, Kenya. The camp is administered by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and contains people from neighbouring countries such as Somalia and Sudan. It is one of three such camps in the area. Photo taken by Douglas MacLellan.

The students of the publishing class will continue to help work on the book throughout the semester. The author is grateful for the collaboration.

“This book is truly a collaborative effort between Marty, the students, and me. We have all left certain ideas on the editing floor in an effort to make the best possible book. We are getting to the good part and I am really enjoying the process,” said MacLellan.


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