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“Through Their Eyes” D.C. Photo Exhibition //

06.17.11
byTaylor Kate Brown

In a small art gallery, in a peaceful courtyard off 31st Street in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C., vivid and sometimes heartbreaking images of the uprisings in Yemen and Syria are on display through the end of the month.

One of the organizers, Marooj Alwazir said she hopes to bring the lives of protestors in these two countries to Washingtonians. “Yemen has always been special to my heart, but I’ve been following the uprisings since the beginning,” Alwazir said.


Thirty photographs were chosen out of over 100 online submissions for the Yemen exhibit, titled “Through Her Eyes.” All the photos are taken by women and most focus on female subjects. Through an online call for submission and the organizers’ own contacts in Yemen, the beginnings of a portrait of what protests look like on the ground appear.

The framing of the exhibit through female eyes was actually the idea of Ibi Ibrahim, one of the three people who selected the photographs for the exhibit, along with Mawadda Alaswadi and Afiaa Alwazir. The photos are both joyous — an older man, front and center in a photograph  flashes the peace symbol — and upsetting — a bullet casing in focus in the center of one photo is held by a man, who although out of focus, clearly has a air mask on, and is wounded. “Hopefully, [visitors, too] can see it from their point of view,” Afiaa Alwazir said.

Finding recent images in Syria proved to be far more challenging, as the country currently is under a total media blackout. The organizers scoured online accounts, Twitter or elsewhere, to find photos of protests in recent weeks. Some photos were too small to be printed without some pixelation.

Although smaller, photos from Syria still pack an emotional heft. In one photo, a woman holding and leaning over her child, who is heavily wounded and bleeding. In another, a very long Syrian flag is held by hundreds of protesters walking through the streets. “We wanted to show unity, technology, the wounded, children and the moment happening now,” said organizer Mawadda Alaswadi, describing the five themes the exhibit is centered around.

“Through Their Eyes” will be showing in MOCA DC Art Gallery through June 28.
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About the Author: Taylor Kate Brown is a freelance journalist and a digital media graduate of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. She blogs about culture and international affairs at www.taylorkatebrown.com. Follow Taylor on Twitter @wittywhenawake.


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