Newseum exhibit spotlights refugee stories from five continents

Lesbos, Greece, 2015: A father celebrates his family’s safe passage to Lesbos after a stormy crossing over the Aegean Sea from Turkey. (Tom Stoddart)

New York, New York, 2016: New Americans—Portraits of refugees who have recently resettled in the United States as part of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. From left to right: Bhimal, 42, Bhutan; Maryna, 27, Belarus; Patricia, 22, Democratic Republic of the Congo. (Martin Schoeller)

A new exhibit at the Newseum draws attention to the plight of refugees on five continents and is the collective work of five international photographers who tell stories of hope, determination and resilience. “REFUGEE” opens Friday in Washington, D.C., and documents the lives of some of the 60 million people around the world who have had to leave their homelands because of strife, conflict or oppression.

The Annenberg Space for Photography in conjunction with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees commissioned the work, which is presented in chapters that focus on refugees in Asia, Africa, South and Central America and Europe, as well as those who have resettled in the United States. Prior to coming to Washington, the exhibit was at the Annenberg gallery in Los Angeles.

From the Slate article about the exhibit:

American photojournalist Lynsey Addario zeroed in on displaced people living in Bangladesh and Myanmar, while British photojournalist Tom Stoddart focused on those seeking refuge in Greece, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, and Germany. Dakar, Senegal-based fine art and fashion photographer Omar Victor Diop’s work shows refugees from the Central African Republic in Cameroon, and photographer Graciela Iturbide highlights refugees in Colombia as well as Central American youth seeking protection in her native Mexico. New York–based portrait photographer Martin Schoeller’s images, meanwhile, present resettled refugees in the United States in his signature hyperdetailed style.

Opens Nov. 18
at the

The exhibit also features an original documentary — commissioned by the Annenberg Space for Photography, produced by Tiger Nest Films and narrated by UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Cate Blanchett — that captures “REFUGEE” photographers at work on location, delving further into the stories behind their images.

Lesbos, Greece, 2015: A father celebrates his family’s safe passage to Lesbos after a stormy crossing over the Aegean Sea from Turkey. (Tom Stoddart)
Say Tha Mar Gyi, Myanmar, 2015: A. cooks in her family home in Say Tha Mar Gyi Camp. She is married, but her husband left her within the last year to return to his family. (Lynsey Addario)
Mbile refugee site, Cameroon, 2015: Young Ibrahima has spent his entire life in Mbile. When his mother, Hawa, fled the Central African Republic, she had to make the long, difficult journey while pregnant. They still have no news of his father’s whereabouts. Hawa hopes that Ibrahima will get an education and look after her in her old age. (Omar Victor Diop)
Buenaventura, Colombia, 2015: Children in Puente Nayero play an improvised game of table football. The success of the Puente Nayero Humanitarian Space has encouraged residents on the neighboring street of Punta Icaco to begin organizing to create their own humanitarian space. (Graciela Iturbide)