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Lisa Schnellinger
© Lisa Schnellinger
Beyond the Mountains: The Interior Life of Afghanistan
Sharptop Arts Association
Featuring work by: Lisa Schnellinger

Exhibition: Thu, Sep 2, to Sun, Oct 3 2010

Photographer Lisa Schnellinger takes us with her for an inside view of Afghanistan, beyond the war-zone headlines. She and her husband Tom Willard moved to post-Taliban Afghanistan in 2002 and have continued to work there over the past eight years. They helped to create and sustain a national Afghan-owned news agency, and supported the rebuilding of a girls’ school.

In contrast to her public work, Lisa’s photography was a private solace, as she tried to understand, assist, and then step back from her colleagues while they struggled to rebuild their nation.

This exhibit grew from Lisa’s desire to give Americans a sense of intimacy with Afghan identity, to better comprehend a country most of us only know through news images.

Her photographs allow us to walk among ordinary Afghans on their own scale. Satin and canvas prints enhance the movement and texture of these life-sized portraits and walls of mountains.

Lisa’s background in journalism makes her acutely aware of distortions in our perception of people and places in the news. With access and insight, Lisa captures the meandering pathways of Afghan life – drawing us in, rather than holding subjects at arm’s length.

: Sat, Sep 25, 4pm - 6pm

To Pass Between Stones: An Afghan Journey

Photographer Lisa Schnellinger and her husband Tom Willard are committed to deepening understanding of Afghanistan. Their talks are colored with stories of Afghan colleagues and friends, whose lives have been directly affected by the U.S. in both military action and development work. With the media’s tendency to focus on violence and extremism, “Americans are understandably afraid and confused by what they glean from the news,” Lisa says. The exhibit’s scenes and portraits of ordinary life on a large scale, and the accompanying slideshow, counter that distortion: “We want to offer instead the chance to walk through markets, stand in mosques, work in offices and share meals in homes, as we have done.” It has not been a straightforward path. In working through their own dilemmas about Afghanistan, the couple’s dialogues have reflected larger debates. Their talks describe the flow of reality, not forced conclusions. “We feel our work is essential to democracy – for Americans and Afghans – so that citizens can make informed decisions,” Lisa says. “Speaking from personal experience and professional study, we try to give a broader and deeper sense of the consequences of U.S. actions in Afghanistan. We want to offer perspective rather than punditry."

: Sun, Oct 3, 1pm - 3pm

Sharptop Arts Association
68 D.B. Carroll Street
Jasper, GA 30143  [map: Google Maps]
hours: Thu, Fri, Sun: 12pm - 4pm
Sat: 10am - 2pm
p: (706) 692-0101
web: http://sharptopartsassociation.org
permalink: http://festivalguide.acpinfo.org/listings/view/602
ACP Listing #: 030

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