Jim Lommasson, What We Carried: Fragments from the Cradle of Civilization
Portland Art Museum Photography Council’s
Brown Bag Lunch Talk Series
Wednesday, April 18th, 2018, Noon – 1pm
Portland Art Museum
Fields Ballroom, first floor, Mark building
1219 SW Park Avenue, Portland, OR 97205
503 226 2811
Cost: Free to the public.
What We Carried: Fragments from the Cradle of Civilization reveals the stories of refugees fleeing the Iraq and Syrian wars through the objects they brought with them to the United States. Lommasson photographs these precious items—family snapshots, an archaeology book, heirloom china dishes, the Quran—on a white background, asking their owners to write directly within the open space left in the prints and elaborate upon each object’s significance. The resulting images are as beautiful as they are heartbreaking, providing viewers with only a small glimpse of what each person has lost while serving as a poignant reminder that, as Jim asserts, “we must take responsibility for the aftermath of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as at home.”
– Zemie Barr, Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts
Jim Lommasson is a freelance photographer and author living in Portland, Oregon. He received the Dorothea Lange–Paul Taylor Prize from The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University for his first book, Shadow Boxers: Sweat, Sacrifice & the Will to Survive in American Boxing Gyms.
Lommasson’s recent book and traveling exhibition Exit Wounds: Soldiers’ Stories – Life after Iraq and Afghanistan is about American Veterans’ lives after their return from war. Exit Wounds includes Lommasson’s photographs, interviews, and photographs by the participants. He is a 2012-2016 Oregon Humanities Conversation Project Grant Recipient for his public discussion “Life after War: Photography and Oral Histories of Coming Home.” Lommasson was awarded a Regional Arts and Culture Council Project Grant for his current project: What We Carried: Fragments from the Cradle of Civilization. What We Carried is an ongoing collaborative storytelling project with displace Iraqi and Syrian refugees who have fled to the U.S. The Arab American National Museum is traveling the What We Carried exhibition around America.