EPIP DC | Incoming: Migration, Perspective, and the Power of Art

In Richard Mosse’s Incoming, the artist filmed migrants from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Senegal, and Somalia in a series of settings that feel both familiar and devastating. The humanity on display and the numbing regularity with which we see similar images in the news contribute to the familiarity; but the intimacy, scale, and trauma of Mosse’s images, filmed with a military-grade heat vision camera, coupled with Ben Frost’s haunting score of music, military sounds, and human voices, feel new and disorienting. The film is displayed on a immersive trio of screens that you can’t quite take in all at once, and the viewer has to choose where to direct their attention. It is difficult to watch, and it is difficult to look away.

On February 17, the District of Columbia chapter of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP) organized a group outing and discussion to see Incoming at the National Gallery of Art. Whether by coincidence, or because we all felt we had something to learn, none of the members who attended worked explicitly in the field of mass migration or immigration. In many countries around the world, however, migration touches on every facet of our lives – whether it be the migrant workers who contribute to our agricultural production; the ethnic cuisines, culture, and linguistic influences of a global community; the overflowing refugee camps in Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia; or the sharply divisive rhetoric from our leaders on policy and practice when it comes to immigrants, some of our most vulnerable community members. As we left, we found ourselves asking what we could do. How can we adjust our personal commitments and our professional philanthropic commitments to better take into account this massive movement of humans around the world?

I don’t have an answer for that now and I don’t think there is a blanket response – we must each make the choices that are right for us, reflective of the mission that we serve. However, several weeks later, the question lingers in my mind and is beginning to manifest in my work. The conversation that emerged from our visit to Incoming demonstrated the power of art and other mediums to reinvigorate a conversation. By shifting the way that we view scenes that have now become regular viewing, Mosse moved us to reconsider what we thought we knew and to shift the way we react. Philanthropists have long understood the link between art, culture, and society – but we have room to grow. We can be so much better at creating ties with equity, policy, and systems change. Let’s keep elevating the conversation.

Richard Mosse: Incoming was on display at the National Gallery of Art through March.

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  • paul Bulambo
    commented 2020-04-13 11:53:55 -0400
    Sir / Madam,

    We hereby have the honor to come to your authority to request what is
    highlighted.

    Indeed, APADEC asbl is a non-profit, apolitical association, without
    religious affiliation, intervening mainly in the rights of the child,
    the vulnerable woman and in peace in the means and high plateaux of
    Fizi / Minembwe, Uvira / Bijombo and Itombwe, Province of South Kivu
    in DR. Congo. An association called association of actions of peace
    and community development APADEC asbl. Officially registered under
    no.just.112 / s-kv / 3542.

    From our achievements, APADEC organizes training workshops on the
    prevention and transformation of intercommunity conflicts, protection
    monitoring, referral of cases of raped children, sensitize the leaders
    of armed groups on the demobilization of children associated within
    their armed groups, accompaniment of key people stressed by
    inter-community conflicts, school support and advocacy for children
    associated with armed forces and groups victims of the very violent
    events which caused the massive displacement of population, murders,
    rapes, looting, burning of houses, structures school, health and
    others are exposed to sexually transmitted diseases (STIs). Meditation
    trainings are organized with a Peace in peace out concept to help
    reshape their thinking, get their minds to focus on the present and
    not the past and the future, and erase the terrible images of conflict
    and intercommunity suffering.

    Currently, APADEC is supporting 5 Agricultural cooperatives, 85% of
    widows and vulnerable women, and granting agricultural products on
    revolving credit in favor of other vulnerable families in the process
    of increasing their household income.
    APADEC, seeks a partnership with your organization in the capacity
    building in education and child protection vulnerable.
    APADEC is member of different thematic set up by the agencies of
    united nations (UNOCHA- Uvira) of which sub-commission peace and
    transformation of conflict, Monitoring of protection, sub-groups
    working child protection-Uvira, food security .
    Pending a favorable outcome, we ask you, Mr. responsible, to believe
    in the expression of our particular considerations.

    Cordially

    Paul BULAMBO
    For more information can you contact us: apadecasbl@yahoo.fr
    Telephone:+243993881323
  • Melissa Monbouquette
    published this page in Blog 2020-04-10 22:42:40 -0400