For Immediate Release
On September 7, 2007, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) will participate in an awareness-raising day of larger-than-life images of the conflict in Sudan's Darfur region presented by the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) in Boston. PHR has been one of the leading advocacy organizations against the genocide in Darfur. DARFUR/DARFUR, a unique exhibit composed of images by some of the most important photojournalists working today, will be projected on large screens inside the ICA's Barbara Lee Family Foundation Theatre (visible from outside the theatre and Boston Harbor). The exhibit will be in Boston for one day as part of its tour of 24 US cities in as many months.
PHR Deputy Director Susannah Sirkin, who has traveled to Darfur and is an author of PHR's groundbreaking report Darfur: Assault on Survival, A Call for Security, Justice and Restitution, will provide an overview of the crisis and needs of the refugees and displaced people in an evening program that will begin at 7pm. Sirkin will be joined by Samantha Power, Anna Lindh Professor of Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government and Pulitzer prize-winning author of A Problem of Hell: America in the Age of Genocide and Cambridge photographer Michal Ronnen Safdie. This part of the program will conclude with a performance by internationally renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Loudspeakers will be set up on the plaza outside the ICA to make the program audible to all, free of charge.
"It may be trite to say that pictures are worth 1,000 words, but in the context of the crisis in Darfur, the courageous photographers who have shot these images and the curators who have relayed them to the world have provided a profoundly valuable tool in the campaign to stop genocide," said Sirkin.
Following the program, the large-scale photos will be visible through the museum's glass walls from 8:30 to 10pm, accompanied by an outdoor musical performance on the plaza by Berklee College of Music Voices of Mercy, singing original music written to raise awareness of the plight of women and children affected by the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Darfur.
Curated by Leslie Thomas, DARFUR/DARFUR will use high-quality projectors to show the work of seven photojournalists and one former US Marine, accompanied by Sudanese-inspired music. The rotating, digitally projected images provide visual education about the richly multicultural region while exposing the horrors of the ongoing crisis.
This installation has been scheduled at more than 10 venues so far, including the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, and the Jewish Museum in Berlin.
The images are haunting—a sea of makeshift tents, small children with pleading eyes, villages on fire, an old man left to die in the dust. They are the grim reality of life in Darfur where the first genocide of the 21st century enters its fifth year unabated.
DARFUR/DARFUR was conceived by Thomas, a 42-year-old mother, architect, and Emmy award-winning film art director who was motivated to provide international awareness of the ongoing humanitarian crisis. The exhibit brings together the work of some of the most important photojournalists working today: Paolo Pellegrin/Magnum, Lynsey Addario, Mark Brecke, Helene Caux, Ron Haviv/VII, Ryan Spencer Reed, Brian Steidle, and Michal Ronnen Safdie, all of whom have been focusing on Darfur in their work.
Co-curated by film producer Alexandra Kerr, gallery owner Daniela Hrzic, and architects Kevin Martin and Jane Sachs, DARFUR/DARFUR is presented in association with Global Grassroots, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization which invests in social entrepreneurship to advance women's well being in poor countries. Partial exhibit support is provided by Humanity United, the Save Darfur Coalition, and Physicians for Human Rights.
By some estimates, up to 450,000 people have died as government-backed militias have killed and raped its people and ravaged the countryside. An estimated 2.3 million Darfuris have fled their homes and communities, living in displaced persons camps in Darfur or, increasingly, in neighboring Chad.
DARFUR/DARFUR is a traveling exhibit of digitally-protected changing images that provide visual education about the richly multi-cultural region while exposing the horrors of the ongoing humanitarian crisis. DARFUR/DARFUR aims to help educate the public about the culture and politics of the region so that the gravity of the ongoing atrocities can be fully understood.
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to prevent mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.