Fareda Kader brought this photo of her parents when she fled Iraq. It is part of What We Carried: Lincoln, an exhibit that opens Friday, January 26, 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., at the Nebraska History Museum. Photographer Jim Lommasson and the Yazidi community created the exhibit as a photo-storytelling project. Yazidis are a Kurdish religious minority who have been targeted for genocide by ISIS. Lincoln is home to the largest population of Yazidis in the United States.
The project began in early 2017 when Lommasson participated in an exhibit on war at the Sheldon Museum of Art in Lincoln. While here he worked with Nebraska Mosaic (a class in the UNL College of Journalism) 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. He then created a photograph and requested that each owner write a personal reflection directly on the photograph. The project aims to present the experiences of refugees and create a platform for further discussion.
Lommasson will speak at the January 26 event. On February 2, a “First Friday” reception at the Nebraska History Museum will feature Yazidi music, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. The exhibit is open through May 25.
While at the museum, be sure to see Looking Past Skin: Our Common Threads, which explores Nebraska immigration past and present.