The world, and our understanding of it, expands when we read the stories from other cultures. The online hub Refugee Eye facilitates this wondrous expansion of our knowledge. In addition to its other work, Refugee Eye recently created a museum exhibit called “MY GAZA: A City In Photographs” which opened on March 11 and runs through May 8 at a new San Francisco gallery at 849 Valencia Street.
According to the organization’s website, “Refugee Eye is a visual storytelling hub where we redirect the refugee’s content to the public, attempting to bridge between dual worlds in a time of building walls—adding up refugee perspectives to the public discourse by offering vivid stories from their exile environments.
”Through Land and sea, millions of refugees leave everything behind to their uncertain fate. The towns and villages where we live or come from are getting connected more than ever before. So it’s inevitable for our progressing world to start collectively examining and thinking out the challenges we face. Refugee Eye is a home for personal narratives and a bridge between worlds. We spread awareness and spark creativity.”
Co-editor Lara Aburamadan said in a McSweeney’s interview, “We’re attempting to capture images that bring authentic experiences to the refugee policy debate at a time when the international community’s ability to respond to these crises is stretched thin. We hope to refute the stereotypes about refugees, spread empathy, and help lead the next generation of refugees by meaningfully contributing to local issues on the ground in our countries of origin and the U.S.” Her co-editor and co-founder is Jehad al-Saftawi.
The website will soon add an E-Zine. The site is looking for volunteers to help staff the gallery exhibit and to contribute their stories to the E-Zine. Interested parties can learn more at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jehad al-Saftawi said that “Conceptually, Refugee Eye is the experience that refugees like us undergo when moving from everything they have ever known into a totally new environment, all in search of a sense of belonging.”
They have stories to tell us.