As West Shore Community College continues its three-year Humankind Project, the Manierre Dawson Gallery is hosting the “What We Carried: Fragments and Memories from Iraq and Syria” exhibit presenting photographs by Jim Lommasson.
This year’s focus of the college-wide Humankind Project focuses on “Whose Place Is It? Insiders and Outsiders in the Middle East and the United States.”
Renowned freelance photographer and author Jim Lommasson has created a project to communicate the experiences of immigrants through their carried objects along with the intense personal stories behind them.
Lommasson states the purpose of the exhibit is to illustrate our common humanity and counter false stereotypes and assumptions about recent immigrants and refugees from Iraq and Syria.
The project represents the experiences of Iraqi and Syrian refugees while featuring items accompanying these individuals during their journey to America.
More than four million Iraqis have fled their war torn and unstable homeland in hopes of creating a brighter future for themselves and their families. Approximately 140,000 of these refugees have immigrated to the U.S.
As the majority of these refugees travel with nothing more than the clothes on their back, they only carry small mementos to remind them of what they have left behind.
Lommasson has documented their life-changing journey through heartfelt images of these items that are juxtaposed against the cold facts of immigration. Each piece is the result of a collaboration between photographer Lommasson and the owner of the object.
On Wed., Sept. 25, from 12:30 - 2 p.m., Lommasson will speak with students and the community on his photography project in the college’s Center Stage Theater.
Lommasson will speak again at 7 p.m. at Ludington Area Center for the Arts.
The photographs are on loan from the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, MI, and represent a small portion of the over 100 images in the collection.
The exhibit is open until October 26. The gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or evenings and weekends during scheduled events at the Center Stage Theater in the Arts and Sciences Center.
The exhibit and Lommasson’s presentation are free and open to the public.