Chautauqua Institution will open an exhibition by photojournalist Brendan Bannon on Monday, Aug. 10.
The exhibition, “Do You See What I See,” was created by St. Bonaventure University’s Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts and was shown at the Quick Center this past spring. It will now move to Chautauqua Institution to be viewed through Aug. 14.
The exhibition will be in the first floor classroom at Hultquist Center, located on the brick walk near the Amphitheater at Chautauqua.
The photographs in the exhibition were taken by Syrian teens who are refugees because of the civil war in their country. The resulting exhibition is a collection of compelling photographs that are both heart-wrenching and strangely uplifting: They capture the spirit of the person behind the camera, not asking for sympathy but making the viewer aware of their circumstances.
“Do You See What I See?” shows the work of eight young people who are telling the stories of their everyday lives, sharing moments of reprieve through creativity from the challenges of exile.
Bannon, of Buffalo, worked with the United Nations High Commission on Refugees to spend six weeks in the refugee camps of Zaatari in Jordan and the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, teaching photography to teenage refugees.
The idea was straightforward: Create an incredible experience for a group of kids with cameras and photography. The results are amazing.
“The work shows kids facing challenges that could easily be overwhelming and yet there is, among the trauma that they experienced, resilience, optimism and decency that is surprising to people who only expect to see tragedy,” Bannon said.
The Syrian conflict is now in its fifth year with close to 4 million Syrians who have fled to neighboring countries, particularly Jordan and Lebanon.
Bannon will speak about his exhibition during a program at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 10, at the Hultquist Center.
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