WASHINGTON — Today, the Newseum opens “Annenberg Space for Photography’s REFUGEE,” a groundbreaking exhibit that explores the lives of refugees through powerful and evocative photographs. “REFUGEE,” which premiered in April 2016 at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles, is the first traveling exhibit the Newseum has hosted at its location on Pennsylvania Avenue since the museum opened in 2008.

In images created solely for the exhibit by five internationally acclaimed photographers — Lynsey Addario, Omar Victor Diop, Graciela Iturbide, Martin Schoeller and Tom Stoddart — who traveled across five continents, the exhibit depicts refugee populations dispersed and displaced throughout the world and includes stunning portraits of refugees recently settled in the United States. The exhibit will be on display through March 12, 2017.

Sixty-five million people around the world are displaced, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The exhibit presents a full range of global refugee experiences through singular and compelling images taken in Bangladesh, Cameroon, Colombia, Croatia, Germany, Greece, Mexico, Myanmar, Serbia, Slovenia and the United States. The photographs capture the hope and resolve of refugees in the face of dehumanizing and life-threatening persecution.

“The Newseum is honored to host this important and commanding exhibit that harnesses the power of images to inform, challenge and provoke action on this global crisis that has affected lives across the world,” said Jeffrey Herbst, president and CEO of the Newseum.

“On a hot-button issue like the global refugee crisis, it’s easy to get caught up in the partisan bickering, the fierce policy arguments on both sides,” said Wallis Annenberg, chairman, president and CEO of the Annenberg Foundation. “In this powerful exhibit, I believe we go much deeper than that — it explores the lives that are upended, the profoundly human struggles and triumphs that are at the core of these debates, in ways that only the very best photographic art can do. We believe it’s stirring and unique work, which takes us right into the beating heart of the crisis. We’re excited that it’s coming to the Newseum, and hope it makes a small difference in the heart of our nation’s capital.”

“This remarkable initiative is very timely, coming as violence and human rights abuses uproot people around the world at an unprecedented pace,” said Filippo Grandi, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. “The photographs in this exhibit portray their courage, resilience and strength. They show that this is not an anonymous movement; these are ordinary people who have been forced to flee.”

The exhibit features an original documentary — commissioned by the Annenberg Space for Photography, produced by Tiger Nest Films and narrated by UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Cate Blanchett — that captures “REFUGEE” photographers at work on location and delves further into the stories behind their images. Through a virtual reality experience, visitors also will be able to experience what life is like for internally displaced youth in Soacha, Colombia.


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