Photography exhibit offers alternatives to war

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:55

    MIDDLETOWN-Orange County Community College's Orange Hall Gallery will exhibit "Resistance Unarmed: Photographs of Colombian Communities Building Alternatives to War" from Friday, Sept. 30, to Monday, Oct. 31. Three communities in Colombia's northern Urabá region are profiled in the photographs. The first, Cacarica, is an Afro-Colombian community, initially displaced to the coastal city of Turbo, which has returned to its home territory along the Atrato River. The second, the Balsita Community of Life and Work near the town of Dabeiba in Antioquia Department, has chosen a strategy of survival based on principles of non-violence, despite the violence that surrounds them. The third community, San José de Apartadó, formally declared itself to be a peace community in 1997 and continues to organize for peace and justice in the face of threats, harassment, and attacks on its leaders by armed groups. The photographers, whose images are presented, have a wealth of experience in Colombia. Betty Udesen, a staff photographer for the Seattle Times, has been honored by the Associated Press, National Association of Black Journalists, and the Society of Professional Journalists. Eros Hoagland, a freelance photographer, has had his work appear in major magazines and newspapers throughout the world. Jutta Meier-Weidenbach studied photography in Berlin and has worked as a freelance photographer for German publications and Mexican organizations. The exhibit frames the three communities' non-violent resistance within the context of the conflict. The exhibit has been produced by the Fellowship of Reconciliation, a national organization which promotes peace and human rights issues, and is coordinated by Jutta Meier-Weidenbach and John Lindsay-Poland, international accompaniment workers for these peace communities. An opening reception will held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 30. Former international accompaniment worker Renata Rendon will give a lecture-discussion on "The Hidden Alternative to Colombia's War: Peace Communities." The gallery is open Monday through Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will also be open on Friday, Oct. 7, from 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and on Sundays, Oct. 16 and 23, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Call 341-4891, visit or write to