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‘Refugee’ exhibition to spotlight plight of refugees in Europe and beyond

New photography exhibition documenting the plight of refugees in Europe, Africa and beyond will open next month at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Century City, and will feature work from five photographers who have captured displaced persons in multiple countries, including the U.S.

“Refugee,” running April 23 to Aug. 21, will feature more than 100 photos arranged by chapters devoted to geographic regions. The center said that all of the photos in the show were commissioned expressly for the exhibition, though archival material will also be on display.

Among the notable works will be a series captured last year by photojournalist Tom Stoddart chronicling refugees arriving in Greece and traveling through Croatia and Serbia, and continuing on to Germany.

Lynsey Addario will exhibit a photographic series dedicated to the Rohingya people — a minority Muslim population in Myanmar that has faced persecution and resettlement in camps in the predominantly Buddhist country. Addario won a Pulitzer Prize in 2009 as part of a New York Times international reporting team covering the war in Afghanistan.

Renowned Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide will show images of settlements of Central American refugees in Mexico, as well as displaced communities in Colombia, while Senegalese fashion photographer Omar Victor Diop will exhibit his images of refugees from the Central African Republic who have fled to Cameroon.

The exhibition will also include photos of refugees who have settled in the U.S. for a section entitled “New Americans.” The images were taken by Martin Schoeller, the German photographer known for his tight close-up portraits of celebrities.

“We wanted the show to be different from photos you see in newspapers every day,” said Patricia Lanza, the center’s director of talent and content, in an interview.

“That’s why we gave it to these people — this isn’t usually their genre. Our goal was to give people a different glimpse of the human face of refugees today.”

The concept for the show originated from discussions between the UNHCR, the U.N. Refugee Agency; and Wallis Annenberg, the Los Angeles philanthropist whose foundation opened the photography space in 2009.

Organizers of the exhibition also worked with the U.S. Department of State to locate refugees who have settled in this country.

The exhibition overall will attempt “to humanize them as they struggle to build new lives and look at their spirits as they create a new life, rather than focusing just on the journey itself,” said Cinny Kennard, executive director of the Annenberg Foundation, in a separate interview.

Leaders at the Annenberg Space for Photography said the show is expected to travel to other cities, both in the U.S. and internationally.

In a statement, Wallis Annenberg said, “I can’t think of an issue more important and vital than the global refugee crisis. Now more than ever, we need to go beyond superficial readings of this worldwide concern in order to understand its deeply human ramifications.”

Source: Los Angels Times