Jewish Journal


April 20, 2010

Gaza Photo Exhibition in Seattle


Last week I wrote about the unexpected, abrupt “removal” of an exhibition at the University of Washington that included war photographs from Gaza.  Now it’s reported that “Global to Local: Narratives of War, Resilience and Peace” will open tomorrow after all.  Larry Johnson, who is identified as the politics reporter of the Seattle PostGlobe, has been covering this story and his latest report is online here .

Johnson concludes that “there was nothing sinister about the removal of the artwork.”  The Odegaard Undergraduate Library’s stated reason for the removal was that “all of the art should be displayed at once, and, apparently, there was one section of the exhibit that had not been posted yet.”  On the other hand, Johnson quotes the curator, Amineh Ayyad, as saying “I am unhappy about the unnecessary ongoing requests to change content of the exhibit and to omit educational contextual information…there will be fewer photos than were on display the past two weeks and other altered content.”

The curator’s stated agenda is “to spread knowledge about the devastating effects of war on health, especially mental health, and peacebuilding through health.”  Whether its main message is about war in general or Gaza in particular should be apparent once the exhibition is open to the public.  Ayyad has previously exhibited photographs in Seattle under the title “Peace in Palestine.”

Curiously, neither the Seattle Times nor the Web-only Seattle Post-Intelligencer appears to be covering this story.

Bob Goldfarb is the president of the Center for Jewish Culture and Creativity in Los Angeles and Jerusalem.  He is also a book critic for Jewish Book World and a regular contributor to eJewishPhilanthropy.com.

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