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Fifteen Years of Human Rights Photography, Now Available Online

  • A man’s arm cleaning a floor.
    Cleaning a cell flooded from above, Coffield Unit, Tennessee Colony, Texas, 1998. © Andrew Lichtenstein
  • Three young boys.
    “Gazari” (gasoline people). Romania, 1995. © Antonin Kratochvil/VII
  • Young girl on phone.
    Carolina, 7, on the phone with her mother. Her mother left Moldova in 2006 to take a job in Italy without a work permit. They haven't seen each other since. Cirpesti, Moldova, 2008 © Andrea Diefenbach
  • A young girl holding a picture.
    Anwara (pseudonym), now an orphan, with a photograph of her stepfather. Despite the presence of police in the camp, he tried to rape Anwara several times and eventually killed her mother, Fatima, who had protected her. Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, 2009. © Saiful Huq Omi

I’m thrilled to announce that the Open Society Foundations are making available to the public an expansive documentary photography collection chronicling some of the most pressing human rights and social issues of our times.

The website houses a searchable archive of the Documentary Photography Project’s Moving Walls exhibition series, which provides evidence of human rights abuses, puts a human face to conflict, and documents the struggles and defiance of marginalized people. The series has included more than 170 photographers over a span of 15 years.

The collection features a vast range of images including Antonin Kratochvil’s perspective of the early years of Eastern Europe’s transition out of Communism; Andrew Lichtenstein’s examination of the criminal justice system in the United States; Saiful Huq Omi’s representation of the Muslim ethnic minority Rohingya living in western Burma; and Andrea Diefenbach’s photographs of Moldovan parents who have migrated to Italy to find better-paying work, and the children they’ve left behind.

Today also marks the unveiling of the latest exhibition, Moving Walls 20 . This show comes as many of the regions where the Open Society Foundations work are in transition. This change and movement are reflected in Yuri Kozyrev’s documentation of uprisings in the Arab region and Ian Teh’s photographs showing the impact of China’s economic rise on the Yellow River. Katharina Hesse combines landscape with portraiture to document North Korean refugees seeking to cross the border into China. In contrast, Donald Weber’s photographs of police interrogations in Ukraine, and Fernando Moleres’ images of young men and boys in an adult prison in Sierra Leone, depict people whose movement is confined. The people in these pictures are in a state of limbo, as deeply flawed justice systems take over and determine their fate.

Moving Walls 20 is on view May 8-December 13, 2013 at the new Open Society Foundations headquarters at 224 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019. Visiting hours are Monday-Friday, 10am-4pm.

Check out the new exhibit and our new website, and tell us what you think!

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