The University Art Gallery is delighted to present “This is Where I Live,” a participatory photography project led by acclaimed photographer Wendy Ewald. By means of a collection of approximately 400 photographs, “This is Where I Live” represents experiences and lives from several distinct communities in Israel and the West Bank. The exhibition will be on view through Nov. 20.
To protect the health of those on and off our campus, in-person visits to the exhibition are reserved for students, faculty, and staff of the University already on campus. The University Art Gallery (UAG) has an additional opportunity to explore “This is Where I Live” remotely, with slideshows of the individual photographs from each of the 14 communities now accessible on the UAG website <https://new.sewanee.edu/university-art-gallery/current-exhibition-2/>.
Ewald does far more than photograph her subjects. Instead, believing that people know their own lives and communities best, she collaborates with groups of people over several months, giving those who want to participate their own cameras. Together they consider images, study the cameras and basics of photography, talk about the photographs taken and the choices made and why, and tell stories. The process is one of learning and exchange, and the results are cumulative and cooperative: collective portraits made up of multiple individual perspectives, and bodies of work created not by one photographer but by many people working together.
For “This is Where I Live,” Ewald worked with 14 disparate groups of people in Israel and the West Bank, from Palestinian Arab women elders in East Jerusalem to Jewish Israeli sixth-grade students from the Kfar Giladi Kibbutz, Upper Galilee, from Palestinian Arab sixth-grade students at the Bir El Amir School in Nazareth to Jewish Israeli stall owners from the Mahane Yehuda market, Jerusalem. “This is Where I Live” presents “a kind of narrative atlas,” in which people from a deeply and impossibly divided region share their experiences, and all the places they live, in photographs.