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Bearing Witness: Documenting Genocide and Mass Atrocities

  • Oregon Historical Society (map)

Photographer Greg Constantine, author of the Exiled to Nowhere book and exhibit, is joined by local photographers Andrew Stanbridge, Jim Lommasson, John Rudoff, and Elizabeth Mehren to discuss their experiences and ongoing work documenting personal histories of mass atrocities. In addition to their extensive experience, focus will be placed on the Rohingya crisis documented in the current exhibit. This program is presented as part of Exiled to Nowhere: A Symposium on the Rohingya Crisis.

Documentary photographer Greg Constantine has spent 13 years documenting the ongoing abuses against the Rohingya. His work and the exhibition, Exiled To Nowhere: Burma's Rohingya have been shown in over 25 cities around the world. The exhibition documents not only the plight of the Rohingya, and how the tactics taken over time have led to the near destruction of this community, but also how, in spite of all that has been done to destroy them, the Rohingya continue to find a way to survive and persevere regardless of the ground beneath their feet.

Andrew Stanbridge is an Oregon based photographer who concentrates on global humanitarian, conflict and environmental stories. He has made photographs of the Syrian civil war, Burma's road to democracy, the plight of the Rohingya, the post-colonial culture and delicate biodiversity of Sao Tome and Principe, Ethiopia and the aftermath of war in Laos and Cambodia, in addition to many others. His work has been exhibited internationally in galleries and museums and has been published in many venues including National Geographic, Al Jazeera, VICE, The International Herald Tribune, The Guardian, Vocativ, Roads & Kingdoms, PDN and the California Academy of Sciences. He holds a BA from the University of California, Santa Cruz and an MFA from Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He is available for assignments and lecturing worldwide. Stanbridge is RISC trained and a member of the Frontline Freelance Register.

Elizabeth Mehren is a longtime journalist and former professor at the College of Communication, Boston University. She spent much of her career as a national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, and previously reported for The Washington Post and other publications. She has written for many national magazines and is the author or co-author of four books. She is also a co-founder of the Global Health Storytelling Project, a collaboration between the School of Public Health and the College of Communication at Boston University. With her colleagues in that effort, she was a recipient of a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant in health communication. She has earned fellowships at the University of Maryland, the University of Georgia and Columbia University. She has taught at the University of Southern California, Harvard University, the Harvard Law School and elsewhere. Mehren earned undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of California, Berkeley.

John Rudoff is a photojournalist and documentary photographer based in Portland. In addition to local and international political events, he has covered refugee and humanitarian crises in Greece, the Greek islands and the Macedonian border, and Bangladesh. He is represented by Sipa-USA and Polaris.

Jim Lommasson is a freelance photographer and author living in Portland, OR. He has been the recipient of multiple awards and recognition for his books, exhibitions, and public discussions. His project, What We Carried: Fragments from the Cradle of Civilization, is an ongoing collaborative storytelling project with displaced Iraqi and Syrian refugees who have fled to the U.S. It was awarded a Regional Arts and Culture Council Project Grant and will be featured at The Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration, NY between May 29 and September 3, 2019. Following its 2016 exhibit, the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center commissioned Lommasson to create a world premiere exhibition, Stories of Survival: Object. Image. Memory., using a similar creative partnership with Holocaust and genocide survivors. His work is in permanent collections at The Library of Congress, San Francisco Museum of Art, The Portland Art Museum, Yale University, Reed College, The New Orleans Museum of Art, The Hallie Ford Museum, and The University of Washington.

Sponsors for the event include the Oregon Historical Society, Never Again Coalition, World Oregon, Americans for Rohingya, Friends of Rohingya USA, Muslim Educational Trust, KBOO, The Immigrant Story, Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, Portland State University’s Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Lewis and Clark Law School’s Crime Victims’ Rights Alliance, American Jewish World Service, and RAIN International. With support form Eric and Alia Breon.