Women's Rights National Historical Park will be proudly displaying What We Carried: Fragments and Memories from Iraq and Syria. This exhibition offers personal perspectives of Iraqi and Syrian immigrants and refugees.
This exhibition will display 50 images which will illustrate common threads binding all of humanity. It will run from December 1st to January 14th.
Since 2003, more than four million Iraqis have left their homes and relocated in hopes of creating a better future for themselves and their families in a setting free of war and uncertainty. Many Iraqis sought refuge in Syria only to find another dangerous situation. Approximately 140,000 of these refugees have immigrated to the U.S., the majority with nothing more than the clothes on their backs and a small memento to remind them of home. To document their life-changing journey and shed light on the trials and tribulations refugees experience in their search for stability, renowned freelance photographer and author Jim Lommasson has created a project documenting what it means to leave everything behind.
What We Carried: Fragments and Memories from Iraq and Syria is a traveling exhibition of the Arab American National Museum.
Lommasson invited Iraqi and Syrian refugees to share a personal item significant to their travels to America, such as a family snapshot, heirloom dish or childhood toy. Lommasson photographed each artifact and then returned a 13" x 19" archival print to the participant so the item could be contextualized by the owner. Exhibition visitors will receive firsthand insight into the consideration of what objects, images and memories might be chosen if one was forced to leave his home forever.
Jim Lommasson is a freelance photographer and author living in Portland, Ore. For his first book, Shadow Boxers: Sweat, Sacrifice and The Will To Survive In American Boxing Gyms (Stone Creek Publications, 2005) Lommasson received the Dorothea Lange–Paul Taylor Prize from The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. Lommasson’ s new book Exit Wounds: Soldiers’Stories – Life After Iraq and Afghanistan (Schiffer, 2015) and traveling exhibition is about American veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and their lives after their return from war. The book includes Lommasson’s photographs, interviews and photographs by the participants. To read more about Lommasson visit his website:http://www.lommassonpictures.com/What We Carried: Fragments and Memories from Iraq and Syria was funded in part by The Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC), the Oregon Arts Commission and the Arab American National Museum.