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About the 2020 fellow
Growing up the daughter of a prominent Hollywood cinematographer, Clara Mokri remembers being on movie sets with her father and seeing the power a camera could wield in telling stories. Her father chose to work on blockbuster film series like Fast & Furious and Transformers. Mokri, though, wanted to forge her own path.
“I always used to think that I wanted to be in the film industry in that capacity because I looked up to my dad; I still do,” she said. “But I was more interested in non-fiction storytelling.”
With that desire, Mokri took up photojournalism and hasn’t looked back.
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Mokri joined Berkeley’s journalism program after working as a photo editor for publications like Vice and Time magazine. She also studied with investigative journalist Bob Woodward while an undergraduate at Yale University.
Samantha Grant, a lecturer at Berkeley’s journalism school, called Mokri “a born image-maker with a hungry heart and a willing hand.”
The Toraja are “technically on the fringe, because they are a group that hasn’t been covered very often,” said Mokri. “I want to learn more about my own culture through the people I meet, because I’ve never been there.”
Mokri plans to take a series of environmental color portraits of the Toraja and snapshots of their community using a large format, film-based camera for portraits. She says it will be an homage to the fellowship’s namesake.
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