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Jim Lommasson, What We Carried: Threads at PLACE Galleria
November 22 @ 8:00 am - December 3 @ 5:00 pm
Jim Lommasson, What We Carried: Threads
Presented by Portland TextileX Month And The Immigrant Story
Extended through December 3, 2021
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 10-5pm.
Viewing by appointment only and please contact at Atsuko.firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm your visit.
735 Northwest 18th Avenue
Portland, OR 97209
This holy pouch called the Bukhechick, was made by my mother in Iraq and blessed with holy water at Lalish temple. When praying, Yazidi face and kiss this holy pouch. The peacock feather represents the Yazidi Peacock Angel. Inside the Buckechick there are Barats (sphere shapes made of holy Lalish temple soil). Each one of these Barats represents certain spiritual saints in the Yazidi religion. The Barats in this particular Buckechick symbolize Yazidi Saints.
– Hammo Murad, Iraq (From “What We Carried: Yazidis of Lincoln, Nebraska”)
For Portland Textiles Month, Jim Lommasson has assembled works in which participants chose textiles to carry to their new homes in the U.S.
Jim Lommasson’s “What We Carried” photo and writing projects begin with a personal object that the participant carried with them on their long and difficult journey from their homelands to the U.S. Objects include a family photo, a bible, a Quran, a doll, dominoes, a teacup or a serving dish from family celebrations, to the clothes that they were wearing when they fled their homes.
Lommasson asks participants to allow him to photograph those few items that they were able to carry with them to the U.S. He asks the participants to write directly on the photograph about their object and why that particular item was so important that they chose it above everything else. Their stories speak of much more than “the object.” The stories are profound and speak to our common humanity. The luminous inner life of these ordinary things is a testament to the unspeakable anguish of a life left forever behind. Ordinary objects become sacred. The photo and writings become a new artifact.
Participants in Lommasson’s What We Carried projects are from Iraq, Syria, Armenia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Rwanda, Sudan, Burundi, Congo, Central African Republic, Tanzania, Mexico, El Salvador, and Guatemala. Lommasson has partnered with The Illinois Holocaust Museum and The Immigrant Story.
For Portland TextileX Month, Lommasson has assembled works in which participants chose textiles to carry to their new homes in the U.S.
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.