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Refuge(e)

Barbara Grover Darfur...................(4026.jpg)

We've all heard a lot about Darfur recently, but seeing it is another matter. Barbara Grover spent seven weeks photographing the Darfuri of Iridimi, and a new exhibition, 'Refuge(e) – Moments with the Darfuri of Iridimi' will run October 18 through January 11, at the Sherry Frumkin Gallery in Santa Monica. In it, she manages to capture the beauty, hope and dignity of Darfuri refugees living in isolated, drought-plagued refugee camps.

Barbara Grover Darfur...................(4027.jpg)

'Refuge(e)' is a collection of 25 color photographs, showing both a stark and unforgiving landscape and the colorful people who stand out against it. In addition, there are two short documentaries being shown. One is 'The Women of Iridimi – the Story of the Jewish World Watch Solar Cooker Project', which explains how solar cooking has changed the lives of refugee women and girls. 'Reality Check' is a multimedia piece, with the stories of several refugees in their own words, showing us their daily lives and how they differ from ours.

Barbara Grover Darfur...................(4024.jpg)

This is not an exhibition about genocide as much as it is about its survivors. 'What I captured was daily life,' says Grover, 'the struggle of people fighting to retain their humanity in the midst of a political conflict that the world has pretty much ignored. Almost every refugee I met asked me one thing: please tell your President and the American people to bring peace to Darfur. They believed in their hearts that we had the power to do that. I am hoping that this exhibit not only helps people to understand this crisis, but also moves them to believe, as the refugees did, in the power of activism.' 

Barbara Grover Darfur...................(4025.jpg)

'I believe art can change the life of the viewer and the life of the people that the art is about,” she adds. Gallery owner Sherry Frumkin is equally enthusiastic: 'Refuge(e) not only educates and raises public awareness of a little understood international crisis, but also challenges us to action.”

Proceeds from the sale of the photographs will be donated to Jewish World Watch, benefiting the Solar Cooker Project and other Darfur refugee relief programs. RM

Images: copyright Barbara Grover

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