Jim Lommasson & The Immigrant Story at Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education
December 12, 2021 @ 11:00 am - May 15, 2022 @ 4:00 pm
Jim Lommasson & The Immigrant Story, To Bear Witness – Extraordinary Lives
December 12, 2021 – May 15th 2022
Museum hours: Wednesday – Saturday: 11am – 4pm
Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education
724 NW Davis Street
Portland, OR 97209
Masks are currently required in the museum.
Students & Seniors: $5
Children under 12: Free
To Bear Witness – Extraordinary Lives features photographs, profiles, and short films that capture the stories of individuals who left their homelands for safe haven in Oregon. These brave men and women, born in places as far-flung as Austria, Bosnia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Germany, Hungary, Rwanda, Sudan, Syria, and Tibet, witnessed the atrocities of war, genocide, and the Holocaust. Each profile reveals the resilience of the survivor and the generosity of the many who provided assistance along the way.
The exhibition is a partnership between OJMCHE and The Immigrant Story, in collaboration with Jim Lommasson and NW Documentary, and presents a multimedia exhibition focused on the lives of these 14 refugees.
Founded in 2017 by Sankar Raman, who immigrated to the U.S. from India, The Immigrant Story is a volunteer-run nonprofit with a mission to foster empathy and build a more inclusive community by sharing stories of immigrants and refugees who often overcame tremendous odds to reach the United States. Sankar, who has experienced violent, racially-motivated attacks, founded The Immigrant Story in response to a Kansas shooting in February 2017 that killed one Indian American man and injured two others.
The Immigrant Story has collaborated with Portland photographer Jim Lommasson, building upon his project, Stories of Survival, originally produced in collaboration with the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center. His work focuses on objects survivors were able to carry with them on their perilous journeys. From his photographs of the objects, the participants respond with handwritten testimonies — stories, memories, poems, drawings. Their stories speak to the luminous inner life of these ordinary things and testify to the unspeakable anguish of lives forever left behind.
Jim Lommasson is a freelance photographer and author living in Portland and is a recipient of the Dorothea Lange–Paul Taylor Prize from The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.