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American Masala
in the photolab picturish gallery
Reception for the Artists on Saturday, May 29, 2004, 6:30pm to 8:30 pm
in the Photolab Picturish Gallery, Berkeley California


We come to America for various reasons: economic, political, or personal. We stay, because we want a better life. We stay, because sometimes staying is easier than going back. Being an immigrant means being a stranger in a place of possibility. It means missing the home left behind while building a new life.

Even here, we can create a place of our own; we can reconstruct what we gave up. So the locals get lost in our streets and canít read the writing in our shops.

We live suspended between two worlds, belonging to neither. We work here, wire money home, and dream of community, family, and affection.

We struggle with language. We live in poor neighborhoods. But we now have big dreams. Our sons and daughters are tied to us in our old age. We embody the last physical connection with the old country. But our children also want to create a new life.

How to photograph memory or capture belonging? How to frame-stop faith in the future? The immigrant experience points inward; itís often painful, very private, guarded. Itís difficult to enter this world. Daunting to document it.

Ten photographers went beyond the initial pleasure of clicking the shutter. They asked questions. They found that in the middle of any project, we are always human. Our experience and our emotions dictate the choice of a subject to photograph and of the particular shots and compositions we make. The photographs, then, speak as much about the photographers as about the subjects.

The moments these photographs portray transcend the immigrant experience.      

Mimi Chakarova
Ken Light
Susan Meiselas  

-Malgorzata Wozniacka

-Malgorzata Wozniacka

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Michelle Nicole Branch
Andrés Cediel
Dafney Blanca Dabach
Keli Dailey
Antonin Giannoccaro
Shilpi Gupta
Kristin Madigan
Tristan Spinski
Lisa Williams
Malgorzata Wozniacka

Mimi Chakarova
Ken Light
Susan Meiselas

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page last modified on 12/14/16


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