October 4 to November 30, 2016
James A. Bowey
This poignant photography exhibition provides a new perspective on the often-hidden lives and compelling experiences of refugees in our communities. Contemporary color portraits are accompanied by first-person stories highlighting the resiliency and challenges of refugees who call Minnesota home.
“I’m drawn to stories that provide a window into the state of contemporary society,” says documentary photographer James A. Bowey. With the number of globally displaced people expected to continue to rise in response to ongoing conflicts, poverty, and climate change, this exhibition is a welcome contribution to discussions about our duty to refugees, our American roots, and our national identity.
Weekly Focus Questions and Quotes:
As part of this exhibit, photographer James Bowey has put together a list of questions and quotes for each week that the exhibit is at Wisdom Ways. These questions and quotes are intended to bring about discussions that assist us in learning to see one another.
A troubling issue in our time is that we resist the humanity of others we are invited to see. We see people the way we do because of our own mindsets and preconceptions–from personal relationships to the most challenging global humanitarian crises. When we truly see another we experience the full humanity and agency of ourselves and all whom we meet.
-James Bowey, Exhibit Photographer
Quote: “A shadow is never created in darkness. It is born of light. We can be blind to it and blinded by it. Our shadow asks us to look at what we don’t want to see.”
–Terry Tempest Williams
Question: What am I willing to see in the world around me?
Quote: “Humanity, take a good look at yourself. Inside, you’ve got heaven and earth, and all of creation. You’re a world—everything is hidden in you.”
–Hildegard of Bingen
Question: What do I believe about others?
Quote: “There are many things that can only be seen through eyes that have cried.”
Question: What do the stories of others invite me to see?
Quote: “A person experiences life as something separated from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. Our task must be to free ourselves from this self-imposed prison, and through compassion, to find the reality of Oneness.”
Question: When have I experienced human connection with strangers?
Quote: “The misfortune of others is our misfortune. Our happiness is the happiness of others. To see ourselves in others and feel an inner oneness and sense of unity with them represents a fundamental revolution in the way we view and live our lives. Therefore, discriminating against another person is the same as discriminating against oneself. When we hurt another, we are hurting ourselves. And when we respect others, we respect and elevate our own lives as well.”
Question: What does it mean to be fully human?
Quote: “Only through our connectedness to others can we really know and enhance the self. And only through working on the self can we begin to enhance our connectedness to others.”
-Harriet Goldhor Lerner
Question: What relationship do I want with the world?
Quote: “The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt.”
Question: What unique contribution do I offer the whole?
Quote: “We have to remind ourselves constantly that we are not saviours. We are simply a tiny sign, among thousands of others, that love is possible, that the world is not condemned to a struggle between oppressors and oppressed, that class and racial warfare is not inevitable.”
Question: What is my role in creating change?
Documentary photographer James A. Bowey, who explores issues of human rights and social connection, has covered a wide range of global and national stories from the war in Bosnia to Hurricane Katrina. His work has been featured by The New York Times, Time magazine, the Associated Press, and numerous exhibitions. While teaching at Winona State University from 2008 to 2015, he won the national WOW award for innovation in higher education. For more information, visit: whenhomewontletyoustay.org or www.jamesbowey.com.