Skip to main content

“What We Carried” exhibition offers personal perspectives of Iraqi and Syrian refugees at SAU

Visitors view pieces from the "What We Carried" exhibition

Since 2003, more than four million Iraqis have left their homes and relocated in the hope of creating a better future for themselves and their families in a setting free of war and uncertainty. Many Iraqis sought refuge in Syria, only to find another dangerous situation. Approximately 140,000 of these refugees have immigrated to the U.S., the majority with nothing more than the clothes on their backs and small mementos to remind them of home. 

To document their life-changing journeys and shed light on the trials and tribulations refugees experience in their search for stability, renowned freelance photographer and author Jim Lommasson has created a project documenting what it means to leave everything behind. 

Spring Arbor University’s Ganton Art Gallery will host “What We Carried: Fragments and Memories from Iraq and Syria,” a traveling exhibition of the Arab American National Museum,from Feb. 9 through March 22. The project represents the experiences of Iraqi and Syrian refugees while featuring items accompanying these individuals during their journeys to America. 

The carried objects and the intense personal stories behind them combine to illustrate the common threads that bind all of humanity: the love shared for family, friends and the places we call home. Exhibition visitors will receive firsthand insight into the consideration of what objects, images and memories might be chosen if one was forced to leave his or her home forever. All of the pieces in this exhibition will be presented in both English and Arabic.

The Ganton Art Gallery is a wonderful destination for field trips and group tours. The gallery is open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday – Friday and 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Gallery hours are subject to SAU’s academic calendar. Admission is always free of charge. Connect with the Ganton Art Gallery on Facebook and Instagram.