FIGURE 1.

Documentary filmmaker Ellen Spiro.

FIGURE 1.

Documentary filmmaker Ellen Spiro.

This is what happens when you show up to get advice from your mentor and you don't get what you expect; you get what you need.

In this podcast, Angela J. Aguayo interviews her teacher and mentor, the documentary video maker Ellen Spiro. The interview centers on documentary as a calling, activism across a lifetime, and changes in the media field since Spiro started out as a video maker creating small, handmade, personal documentaries: now a common media form. In her graduate student years Aguayo worked on several of Spiro's projects, including Troop 1500 (2005), a documentary about a Texas Girl Scout troop whose mothers are in prison. Spiro and Aguayo discuss the challenges of working with kids’ stories, the healing possibilities of documentary production, and understanding documentary as a social exchange. The podcast is intimate, engaged, and honest, highlighting how activist media practices translate from one generation to the next.

Radical Media Lab is a new podcast series by Aguayo in which she interviews media makers about the possibilities for media production and social change.