Monday, February 26, 2018
Sunday, February 25, 2018
Yazidis are a tiny religious minority largely from northern Iraq — fewer than a million worldwide. For centuries the Yazidis have faced persecution for their faith. The Yazidi faith combines elements of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Manichaeism and the ancient, pre-Islamic Zoroastrianism. Since 2014, ISIS captured and killed thousands of Yazidis in what the United Nations has described as genocide. Over the years, the Yazidi community in Lincoln, Nebraska has grown to about 3,000 people, making it the largest in the United States. Lincoln started resettling Yazidis in large numbers, many of them translators for the U.S. army. Over the years, more refugees have been drawn to the city for its affordable rents and safe neighborhoods. – By Reema Khrais (Excerpt).
What We Carried: Lincoln, Nebraska is a collaborative photographic storytelling project with the Yazidi community and photographer Jim Lommasson. The project began in early 2017 when Lommasson participated in Conflict and Consequences: Photographing War and Its Aftermath at the Sheldon Museum of Art in Lincoln. While in Lincoln Lommason worked with Nebraska Mosaic and the Yazidi community. He asked the participating Yazidis to share items they brought with them on their journey from Northern Iraq to the US. Lommasson then created a photograph and requested that each participant write a personal reflection directly on the photograph about their journey from Northern Iraq. The project aims to present the experiences of refugees and create a platform for further discussion.
Lommasson feels that the Lincoln Yazidi story needs to be told. Lincoln is currently home to the largest population of Yazidis in the United States.
What We Carried: Lincoln is currently on view at The Nebraska History Museum. January 26 - May 25, 2018.
Lommasson’s What We Carried project is an ongoing collaboration with Iraqi and Syrian refugees who have come to the U.S. Lommasson has worked with refugees in Boston, Chicago, Dearborn, Atlanta, San Diego, Portland, Houston and now Lincoln.
The What We Carried exhibition is currently traveling America and will be on view at The Ellis Island Immigration Museum Memorial Day through Labor Day 2019.