Beyond the Victim hung at the European Commission, Weslyan, Yale, Emory and Kent State Universities throughout 2010. A special thanks goes out to all the women of the Heal Africa Transit Center in Goma, DRC and the Heal Africa staff, who made this research and photography possible.
Portraits in Disneyland - Stories from Mugunga III
‘Disneyland’ is an exhibition of portraits created over 8-months with the residents of Mugunga III. Set just a short drive from the humanitarian hub of Goma in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mugunga III has become the region’s most visited internally displaced peoples camp. Nearly every errant aid worker, VIP, celebrity, and journalist who arrives in the region stops by to view and photograph the displacement. By 2014, these visits had reached such feverish popularity that the camp’s frustrated coordinators casually dubbed Mugunga III - ‘Disneyland’.
This exhibition challenges the cliché representations of places like Mugunga III. Here, each portrait was consciously co-created. The photographs depict the fusion of the anticipations, hopes, and desires of both the subject and the photographer. The result is a set of reflexive images that engage the politics of humanitarian depictions of displacement while equally drawing on regional styles of studio photography. By exploring how individuals navigate, manipulate and undermine visual clichés, this exhibition strives to question the value of the supposed ‘objective’ nature of photography - especially in spaces of humanitarian aid.