About Moving Walls 9
As we open the ninth exhibition of Moving Walls, we have seen the power of documentary photography to shape world events, not merely record them, with the release of the horrific images from the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The Moving Walls exhibition is not organized around a specific theme, yet in this exhibition, war and its aftermath are the focus of four of the six photographers. When we look at images from Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq, and Israel/Palestine, of a boy’s journey over the Mexican border to the United States, and low income mothers in the United States, we must ask ourselves if we are willing to confront the difficult issues that these images represent or whether, after seeing them, we can simply walk away unchanged.
The journey of a young boy making his way from Honduras to North Carolina, as recorded by Don Bartletti, represents the massive migration of undocumented immigrants from Latin America to the United States each year. Bound to El Norte: Immigrant Stowaways on the Freight Trains of Mexico makes personal a larger story.
Stephen Ferry’s photographs expose a forgotten conflict. In The Wrong War, Ferry does not seek to explain the violence that has wrenched Colombia for decades; rather, the images reveal the chaos and surrealism of Colombian life.
The images in Sean Hemmerle’s The American War on Terror: Iraq are wholly different in style from typical war photography. People are eerily absent: in these photographs, destruction itself is the subject.
The legacy of the Taliban is ever-present in Steve McCurry’s images of postwar Afghanistan. Afghanistan: Between War and Peace shows a fragile country struggling to forge a new identity in the shadow of a violent past.
Rickie Solinger, curator of Beggars and Choosers: Motherhood Is Not a Class Privilege, calls for the defense of reproductive rights for all mothers, regardless of their social or economic status. This group exhibition focuses on families that don’t comply with traditional norms.
Larry Towell captures the desperations of those living behind Israel’s security barrier in Walling Off Peace. In a region fraught with division and hatred, the wall is the most literal barrier to a peaceful resolution.