Or Does it Explode?
Feb 15 - June 16, 2019
Or Does It Explode? is a multimedia group exhibition on the documentation of refugees and forced migration. In an effort to build awareness of the millions of lives affected globally, this exhibition offers figurative work merged with descriptive text that individualizes the numerous struggles that result from migration.
The artwork is primarily portraiture giving faces to the statistics about refugees and migrants, and creating a bridge of humanity, rather than a disconnect. The exhibition also delves into information regarding how specific families navigate their lives in new countries, paying particular attention to changes within culture, identity, and dreams for the future.
The Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes closes his famous poem, Harlem (Dream Deferred), with “or does it explode,” leaving the open-ended idea to be contemplated. Journeys of refugees and migrants often begin with a dream of freedom, asylum, or a better life for themselves or their families, yet dreams are constantly altered while continuously considering transitions. Through this exhibition, viewers are challenged to consider how migratory and refugee lifestyles abruptly and permanently affect people and cultures, and how dreams transform or die as a result.
César Dezfuli - Madrid, Spain
Brian Sokol - Santa Fe, NM
Maranie R. Staab - Pittsburgh, PA
Manar Bilal - Saint Jeande Braye, France
Opening Night Event
Fri, Feb 15, 2019
5:30 - 9:00 pm
Free for UICA Members;
Free with gallery admission
Join UICA for the opening of our newest exhibition, Or Does it Explode?. Enjoy a cash bar, docent-led tours, light refreshments, and a first look at the works on view.
About the artists
Syrian photographer Manar Bilal began shooting in 2011 and was a volunteer in Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan from 2012 to 2015. During that period, he used digital photography and videography to dignify children living in the camps, specifically those that had been injured or exposed to war trauma. Bilal now lives in France and continues to use his camera to document daily life.
César Dezfuli was born in Madrid in 1991. He trained at the University Rey Juan Carlos, where he received a dual degree in Journalism and Media Studies. He worked in Spanish newsrooms before focusing on documentary and investigative reporting on humanitarian issues, international politics, and anthropological research, where he combined work as a written journalist with HIS photographic reports. Hiswork has been published in Al Jazeera, The Guardian, The Atlantic, De Groene Amsterdammer, El Mundo, El Pais, Eldiario.es, El Periódico, 20Minutos, BBC, and elsewhere.
Brian Sokol is a US-born photographer, author and speaker dedicated to documenting human rights issues and humanitarian crises worldwide. A recipient of National Geographic Magazine's Eddie Adams Grant, he has been selected as one of PDN's 30 Emerging Photographers To Watch. Since 2012 he has focused on telling the stories of refugees, Internally Displaced Persons, and stateless people in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. His work appears in publications including TIME, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. He has exhibited on 5 continents and in both the New York and Geneva headquarters of the United Nations.
Maranie R. Staab is an independent photographer, videographer and journalist working to document human rights and social justice issues, displacement and the periphery of conflict—how violence and war affects individuals and societies. Her work focuses on people and especially those in marginalized parts of society — whether domestically or abroad. To date, her work has taken her throughout Eastern and Western Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
Staab is self-taught and has been a full-time, independent photographer since 2015. She has published work in The Atlantic, Reuters, Esquire, CNN, Huffington Post, Arte Magazine (Berlin), Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Mashable, Rudaw, and works regularly with numerous Pittsburgh area newspapers and magazines.
Individuals with disabilities who require accommodations should contact Megan Bylsma, Associate Director, at 616.454.7000 x11 or firstname.lastname@example.org at least 72 hours in advance.