IMPRESSIONS: South Sudan – The Photographs of Michelle Gabel and Bruce Strong
June 6, 2015 to July 18, 2015
Impressions: South Sudan featured photographs by Michelle Gabel, a former photojournalist with the Syracuse Media Group and graduate student at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications, and Bruce Strong, a multimedia storyteller and Newhouse School professor.
Maureen Sieh’s commentary provided a background for the photographs. Now an independent journalist based in Africa, Sieh is a former reporter and editor for Syracuse Newspapers, where she focused on ethnic community issues. Made on separate trips, Strong’s and Gabel’s photographs represent specific conditions and struggles of the South Sudanese before the formation of an autonomous South Sudan in 2011.
While these images are specific to a time and place-after the second Sudanese civil war, which ended in 2005-the photographs reflect the rampant poverty and public health crisis as well as the dignity and grace of a people who persevere despite centuries of conflict. Sieh’s commentary was based on her 2009 trip to South Sudan and her decade-long experience reporting on the Lost Boys, dating from their arrival in Syracuse in 2001. The exhibition reminded us of the debilitating effects of all wars -those in Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela and other nations including South Sudan, where the situation remains in flux and renewed violence continues today.
The programming for this exhibition offered the chance for the public at large to learn about current conditions in South Sudan and to meet some South Sudanese who work to improve conditions in their country and now call themselves Syracusans.
Chana Bursztyn, Brian Caufield & Kathy Barry, Dik Cool, Annemarie Deegan,
Harry Heilman, David & Jeanne Holstein, the Holtz Family Fund, Sandra Hurd & Joel Potash, Ann Jamison, Mary Kuhn, Shirley & Larry Novak,
Robert Sarason & Jane Burkhead, George Savage, Laurie Selleck,
Vince Sgambati & Jack Stevens, Tupper Property Management,
Jeff Unaitis, Ron Van Norstrand, Amy Zamkoff and Anonymous (2) EXHIBITION SPONSORS: Esther Adelson, Ed Becker, Diane Cass & Tim McLaughlin, Diana F. Cramer,David Dickinson, Bob Gates & Deborah Welsh, Linda Bosart-Greenlar & Mike Greenlar, Aimee Koval, Carol Ann Lorenz, Pam McLaughlin, Susan Seamon, Ann Tiffany & Ed Kinane and Carmen Viviano-Crafts