Dina Litovsky

Work by Dina Litovsky featured in The New Yorker

Work by class of 2010 alumni Dina Litovsky was recently featured in the story, Where the Amish Go on Vacation in the New Yorker; alongside writing by Alice Gregory. 

Two women pass by a mural depicting the ideal of the Amish life back home.

Two women pass by a mural depicting the ideal of the Amish life back home.

Excerpt from the article:

Each winter, for close to a century now, hundreds of Amish and Mennonite families have travelled from their homes in icy quarters of the U.S. and Canada to Pinecraft, a small, sunny neighborhood in Sarasota, Florida. Arriving on chartered buses specializing in the transportation of “Plain people” from areas such as Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Holmes County, Ohio, they rent modest bungalows and stay for weeks, or sometimes months, at a time. It’s vacation. For many, it’s the one time of the year that they spend with people from communities other than their own.

The front yard of a family home.

The front yard of a family home.

Originally drawn to Pinecraft’s affordable real-estate prices and off-season farming potential, the first Amish families began coming in the mid-nineteen-twenties, with the idea of growing celery. They found the soil disappointing, but not the comparatively languid life style. Now, without barns to raise or cows to milk or scrapple to prepare, the typically stringent rules of Anabaptist life are somewhat suspended in Pinecraft, an inland neighborhood that in recent decades has expanded to more than two hundred and eighty acres. Earrings, usually forbidden, can be seen glittering from beneath white bonnets, and houses are outfitted with satellite dishes. Horses and buggies are nowhere to be seen, but adult-sized tricycles abound. Swimming, volleyball, and shuffleboard are encouraged; ice-cream cones are a nightly ritual.

To continue reading the writing by Alice Gregory and to see more of Dina Litovsky's photographs, please click here.

The nightly women’s volleyball game is the community’s main spectacle.

The nightly women’s volleyball game is the community’s main spectacle.

Dina Litovsky interview with A Photo Editor

Class of 2010 alumni Dina Litovsky was recently featured in an interview with Heidi Volpe at A Photo Editor discussing her work and how she approaches travel based editorial work.

When Heidi Volpe asks how she approaches travel stories, Dina responds:

"I always like to do a fair amount of research beforehand. That involves reading up about its culture, people and landmarks. A useful place to start is past travel articles, which are also great for initial photo research. Looking at previous images of a city both gives me an idea of what to expect as well as what to avoid. It’s fun to be seduced by certain things when at a new location – everything seems exciting – but then it’s very easy to unwittingly repeat existing images of an over-photographed place/landmark."

"Once on location, I like to have a first day where I walk around the city only with an iPhone, getting a feel for the city and making quick images of locations where I’d like to come back to."

To read the full interview please click here.

Images courtesy of Dina Litovsky

Images courtesy of Dina Litovsky

Alums, Dina Litovsky and Ryan Pfulger featured in New York Times

In an article about the high-drama world of youth competition dance, written by Lizzie Feidelson, graduate of the program Dina Litovsky provides the accompanying visuals for the narrative.

Prestige dancers performing “To Build a Home” at the Showbiz competition in Hackensack, N.J.

Prestige dancers performing “To Build a Home” at the Showbiz competition in Hackensack, N.J.

Excerpt from story: "The second time I met Angelina Velardi she had just lost a baby tooth. It left a gaping hole in her smile, but she liked how it looked: “Now if I show the judges I’m mature, they’ll be more impressed,” she said, happily. Angelina is a 12-year-old competitive dancer, and canny to the ways in which technical acuity and preadolescent pliability can be combined to her advantage. She started competitive dancing less than three years ago.

On a Friday afternoon last spring, Angelina and her teammates from Prestige Academy of Dance arrived at a technical high school in Sparta, N.J., for the Imagine National Dance Challenge, a children’s dance competition. Each girl wore her black uniform and sported the team hairstyle, a low bun gleaming with hair spray. Dina Crupi, Prestige Academy’s 25-year-old studio owner and competition-team director, had chosen the hairstyle for its versatility: It allowed various headpieces and hats to be put on and removed with ease. Crupi still had nightmares about last year’s style, a too-complex choice involving a pouf encircled by braids. While she stood sipping coffee, the girls warmed up around her, brushing their fingers against the athletic-gray lobby walls for balance. With their small heads, shellacked scalps and long necks, the teammates looked elegant and creaturely, like a row of lizards."

To see more of Dina Litovsky's images and to continuing reading the full article, please click here.

Prestige dancers rehearsing before a competition. From left: Annalise Hofman, 13; Velardi; and Tiffany Benevenga, 13. Images courtesy of Dina Litovsky. 

Prestige dancers rehearsing before a competition. From left: Annalise Hofman, 13; Velardi; and Tiffany Benevenga, 13. Images courtesy of Dina Litovsky. 


Concurrently, alumni Ryan Pfluger was tasked with photographing human rights lawyer Alka Pradhan in a story (written by Jeffrey E. Stern) about her work with a high profile client, one of five accused Sept. 11 plotters imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay.

Excerpt from story : "When Pradhan flies down to Gitmo, which she does every month or two, her conversations with her client often have less to do with proving his innocence than with what has happened to him since his suspected crimes. One of the first things she learned about Baluchi, before they met, was that the C.I.A. had tortured him, and she has come to believe that America has waterboarded away its ability to convict him. It’s an international norm that countries don’t execute people they have tortured; the Geneva Conventions go as far as to say such prisoners must be rehabilitated. If America executes Baluchi, Pradhan believes, it will cede whatever eroding toehold it has on a moral high ground. Beyond that, what concerns her is that her client is suffering; that he has real physical and psychological injuries from his torture that have yet to be addressed. The way she sees it, by denying him adequate treatment, the government has continued to torture him."

To continuing reading the full story, please click here. 

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