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Book Talk and Signing: Jim Lommasson – What We Carried
July 20, 2019 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pmFree
Jim Lommasson will discuss his new book, What We Carried: Fragments and Memories from the Cradle of Civilization a collaborative photography and writing storytelling project with Iraqi and Syrian refugees who have fled their homeland because of war.
Jim will read participant’s stories, discuss the making of the book, and will sign copies of What We Carried.
Jim began working on his What We Carried project in 2010 while completing his Exit Wounds: Soldiers’ Stories – Life After Iraq and Afghanistan traveling show and book about returning solders from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Lommasson invites Iraqi and Syrian refugees who have fled to the U.S. to write their own personal stories directly on Lommasson’s photographs of objects that they carried with them on their long and complicated journeys to America. The stories speak to much more than the object. The luminous inner life of these ordinary things are a testament to the unspeakable anguish of a life left forever behind. Ordinary objects become sacred objects.
What We Carried has received national and international attention. The traveling What We Carried exhibition is currently on view at The Ellis Island National Immigration Museum through September 2, 2019.
“Throughout Lommasson’s bridge-building mission, the refugees have told him that he’s the first American “to give them the time of day,” he says. And for that reason, What We Carried has sparked both gratitude and tears from the refugees. Lommasson’s eye treads lightly, presenting the items without artistic comment, yet imbuing each with tactile depth via low-grazing light that tempts viewers to reach out and touch.”
– Daniel Foster, L.A. Times
“Jim Lommasson’s continuing, and very moving, What We Carried project showcases images and objects Iraqi and Syrian refugees brought with them as they fled their countries—wedding pictures, diaries, the glasses of a beloved relative—alongside captions written by the refugees themselves. The eloquent prints he made of these treasured and disparate possessions—a ceramic platter, a group of well-used Barbie dolls, a textbook, a family photograph, a flag—became one-of-a-kind works of art as the owners embellished them with captions, drawings, and calligraphy that explained their significance, often in heartbreakingly simple phrases.”
– Nicolas Niarchos, The New Yorker
What We Carried: Fragments and Memories from the Cradle of Civilization will be available for purchase at the event.