Professor launches photo exhibit to spark dialogue
fractured spaces: stories of resistance & resilience
“fractured spaces: stories of resistance & resilience” officially opened to the public on September 17. Colleagues, students and friends packed the atrium of Wise Library to celebrate the launch of the exhibit and attend a reception hosted by WVU Libraries. The event kicked off WVU’s year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the creation of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment of the Arts.
The images provide a glimpse into the lives of people in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan post 9/11 and of Tibetans living in political exile in India. Raimondo took the photographs over a 20-year span while working as a freelancer and as a photojournalist for major newspapers like The Washington Post.
Housed in WVU’s downtown library, “fractured spaces” is a three-part show that address three themes.
- “in the wake of 9/11” contains photographs from Iraq and Afghanistan, where Raimondo traveled just two weeks after the terrorist attacks on the United States.
- “safe house pakistan” shows a small group of Pakistani women locked in a government safe house.
- “tibet in exile” focuses on 100,000 Tibetans living as political refugees in Dharamsala, India.
Raimondo said the power of still pictures is that they can record moments of people in the midst of struggle and remind others that it’s not gone.
“My goal is to tilt the paradigm and enable viewers to experience a situation from someone else’s point of view,” Raimondo said.
Journalism junior Cara Devenney attended the opening and says the exhibit evokes a lot of emotion in her.
“There is one image of a gentleman up against a window with the light reflecting on him. The way Professor Raimondo took the picture—it just captures the story perfectly,” said Devenney. “Seeing the man’s facial expressions and the objects around him, I felt emotional when I looked at it.”
Isaac Zivkovic, a Journalism sophomore, also attended the opening. He says he relates to Raimondo’s photos because he spent time in Afghanistan post 9/11 serving in the United States military.
“I liked the photo of the two men holding assault rifles squatting on the top of a mountain,” said Zivkovic. “It’s imagery I saw everywhere in Afghanistan.”
“fractured spaces: stories of resistance and resilience” is part of the Art in the Libraries program and is underwritten in part by a grant from the WVU Faculty Senate Research grant program and the Office of the Provost. The newly formed Art in the Libraries program seeks to fill library spaces with art exhibits and pieces created by nationally recognized artists with ties to West Virginia or WVU and noteworthy art created by WVU students.