Photojournalist to Share Pictures and Stories of Iraq

Posted By:  Lisa McGean
Date Posted:  3/1/2007

The Deschutes Public Library is pleased to sponsor an Oregon Chautauqua program by Joel Preston Smith entitled "Night of a Thousand Stars and Other Portraits of Iraq". This free, public program will take place on Saturday, March 17th at 3:00 pm in the Brooks Room of the Bend Public Library.

Photojournalist Joel Preston Smith lived in Iraq for four months in 2003, documenting Iraqis' daily lives, rituals, and struggle to survive - both before and after the U.S. invasion. While the preponderance of foreign jounalism in Iraq has focused strickly on political analysis and violence, Smith's work provides another dimension by introducing Iraqis and U.S. soldiers as human beings, not merely as perpetrators or victims.

Smith's slides and stories offer an intimate portrait of Iraqis at home, work, and worship. Viewing images of a nurse caring for pediatric cancer patients, a professor teaching "Romeo and Juliet" at the University of Baghdad, and musicians playing for a wedding, helps us question how racism, xenophobia, and media bias play a role in prejudging Middle Eastern societies. When the enemy appears rather like a loving father with his daughter, or children delighting in a water fight, we are encouraged to consider our cultural similarities and shared human experiences.

For more information about this and other library programs please call 541/312-1034.

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