Marti Corn (Houston)
"Out of Darkness"
June 4 - 28, 2016
The photographs, stories, and statements in this exhibit are based on the lives of refugees from across the world and the people dedicated to helping them. All these people now make their lives in Houston.
Houston has welcomed more refugees than any other city in the country. Seventy thousand call the Bayou City home.
Khatera, who fled Afghanistan and the Taliban two years ago with her husband and three children, is one of these refugees. Overnight, women's lives were in jeopardy, and it became too dangerous for her children to attend school. Now settled in Houston, she reads voraciously and saves money to study fashion design.
"Besides the language barrier, the greatest challenge for these refugees is making friendships," said Corn. "They yearn for connection. They can't understand why people don't seem to want to know their neighbors."
"In today's political climate, it's critical that we see these people on an intimate level and hear their stories," said Corn. "I want to honor their courage and perseverance. I'm convinced that if we can get to know just a few of these families we'll embrace them into our communities."
Local nonprofit organizations, including IEDA Relief, Community Cloth, Firestarter, and Plant It Forward, introduced Corn to refugees featured in the show. Countries represented include Burma, Iraq, Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, Syria, South Sudan, Russia, Columbia, Rwanda, and Zambia.
Marti Corn is a documentary portrait photographer. Her projects revolve around human rights issues, telling the stories of affected people through portraiture and oral histories in both third-world countries and in the Houston area. Respected as a contemporary portrait photographer and ethnographer, her work is gaining international attention. Her book, "The Ground on Which I Stand: Tamina, a Freedmen's Town," published by Texas A & M University Press, will be released in June of this year. Public collections with her work include the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.