Faces of Iraq/Putting Faces to the Names paired exhibitions at the Puffin Cultural Forum

Posted by Karin Jervert | Tue Nov 1st 2005 12:26 p.m.

Faces of Iraq and Putting Faces to the Names:

Paired Exhibits Tell the Human Story behind the suffering of the Iraqi People and Displays Portraits of Fallen American Soldiers

Collateral Damage—that is the term for thousands of innocent Iraqi citizens whose stories and struggles have been muted by their rare appearance in American media. A new exhibit at the Puffin Cultural Forum entitled Faces of Iraq, sponsored by the Teaneck Peace and Justice Coalition, EPIC (Education for Peace in Iraq Center) and OXFAM USA, tells the human stories behind the suffering of the Iraqi people through the photographs of such well known photographers as David Bacon, Alan Pogue and Jane McBee, among others. Accompanying this exhibit will be portraits of fallen American soldiers by Eva Andry. The Opening Reception is November 12 at 7:00 pm. Admission is free. The Puffin Cultural Forum is located at 20 East Oakdene Avenue in Teaneck.

Faces of Iraq is a photography exhibition depicting the humanity and diversity of the Iraqi people in over forty color and black-and-white prints. The exhibition provides Americans with a rarely seen human portrait of Iraq, with images of children and adults, families and shop owners, sidewalk traffic and home activity, a viewer glimpses a small but colorful slice of Iraq's many faces. By personally connecting Americans to Iraq through the images and stories of the people, Americans can better appreciate the humanitarian imperative we have as a nation in the international community to improve humanitarian conditions in Iraq and to ensure that no more harm comes to innocent Iraqis.

EPIC, one of the sponsoring organizations, promotes freedom, security, and genuine democracy for the people of Iraq. EPIC was founded in 1998 by American veterans and human rights advocates, including Eric Gustafson who will be a guest speaker at the opening along with Rev. Randall Day of St. Marks Episcopal Church in Teaneck. EPIC is the only Iraq-focused organization of its kind in Washington, DC. They work closely with concerned Americans, policy analysts, Iraqis, and national veteran, religious, labor, and human rights organizations. For more information on EPIC visit http://www.epic-usa.org/

Also sponsoring the exhibit is the Teaneck Peace and Justice Coalition, a group who organize opposition to the war in Iraq and in 2003 attempted to pass an anti-war resolution in the Town Council of Teaneck but it was rejected by the council despite the 1200 signatures which were collected. Sue Novick, a representative of the group said, “Teaneck Peace and Justice Coalition is a group of your neighbors and friends who have come together to do whatever we can to protest the US war and occupation of Iraq. We believe it is our patriotic duty to stand up for our shared conviction that the US government should immediately cease its occupation of Iraq and bring our troops home. We are pleased to co-sponsor the exhibit Faces of Iraq, which puts a human face on the senseless murder and destruction done in the name of ‘democracy’”. To find out more about the Teaneck Peace and Justice Coalition visit their website at http://www.teaneckpeace.org

Oxfam America, another group sponsoring this exhibit, is a Boston-based international development and relief agency and an affiliate of Oxfam International. Working with local partners, Oxfam delivers development programs and emergency relief services, and campaigns for change in global practices and policies that keep people in poverty.

The accompanying exhibit by Eva Andry memorializes the fallen soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq by painting their portraits. The show, which has been at the newly formed Veterans Museum and Veterans Affairs Regional Office, was started in June of 2004. Andry has been profoundly affected by this project and explains it as “an artist's need to deal with the loss of so many. Obviously, I am rampantly against this war. This is my way of sharing the grief. I feel these men and women have become a part of my life having spent the few hours looking into each of their eyes and wondering why.”

Artists include in Faces of Iraq:

ALAN POGUE is an acclaimed photojournalist whose work has focused on migrant laborers, prison conditions and criminal justice, Cuba, the Middle East, and Iraq. His photos have appeared in several national and international publications, and he served as a staff photographer for the Texas Observer for 29 years. Alan recently returned from Iraq where he worked with Veterans for Peace in a campaign to repair water treatment facilities and raise international awareness of the suffering caused by war and economic sanctions. Contact him at: alanpogue@mac.com.

JAMES LONGLEY received the Student Academy Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his short documentary, "Portrait of Boy with Dog." "Gaza Strip," his first full-length documentary film was produced on location during the spring of 2001. His photographs of Baghdad and Basra were taken during a trip to Iraq in October, 2002. James is currently working on a documentary film project about the situation in Iraq. See more of his work at: www.littleredbutton.com.

JANE MCBEE is an award winning photojournalist who has spent much of the last decade photographing ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. She has worked in Madagascar, South America, Central America, Northern Ireland, Europe, and the Middle East. Contact her at: mcbeephoto@pcisys.net.

ROBERT (BOB) HAYNES, M.D. is a cardiologist in private practice and a member of the clinical faculty of the University of Washington. He is a member of the Board of Sponsors, and the Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility. Bob Haynes has visited Iraq three times.

GABRIELA BULISOVA has worked on a range of peace, justice and anti-nuclear issues as an advocate and photographer. She traveled to Iraq in May 2002. Prior to this she received a Meyer Travel Fellowship for a photo-documentary project entitled "Chernobyl: Half Lives and Half Truths," with visually impaired children from the Chernobyl contaminated area in the former USSR. In 2001, she documented violations of human rights, civil liberties and environmental contamination with the Gorleben International Peace Team in Germany. Gabriela is also the coordinator of the "Faces of Iraq" exhibit. Contact her at: nowarfoto@yahoo.com.

RAMZI KYSIA is an Arab American activist who has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East. An informed critic of U.S. policies in the region, his essays have appeared in several national and international newspapers. Kysia has worked with EPIC, Voices in the Wilderness and the National Network to End the War against Iraq. He also trains activists in media relations, organizing, and grassroots lobbying.

DAVID BACON http://dbacon.igc.org/

The Puffin Cultural Forum is a project of the Puffin Foundation, Ltd and is located at 20 East Oakdene Avenue in Teaneck, NJ. For directions, upcoming events, or other information about Puffin Cultural Forum please consult the Puffin Cultural Forum section of the foundation’s website at www.puffinfoundation.org or call us at 201-836-8923.

This and all other Puffin Cultural Forum events and programs are underwritten by the Puffin Foundation, Ltd. in an effort to make it possible for anyone to attend.

NOTE TO PRESS AND PHOTO EDITORS: This release and high resolution can be downloaded from our press room at http://www.puffinfoundation.org/forum/forum_new/pressroom.html
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