Faces of Granizal

On December 1, 2016, a photo exhibit and discussion panel entitled Caras de Granizal (Faces of Granizal) opened at the Museum of Modern Art (MAMM) in Medellin, Colombia.  The objective was to expose viewers to the conditions, challenges and goals of Colombia's second largest displaced community of 20,000+ internal refugees, Granizal.   Just days after the Colombian Government signed a peace treaty with armed rebels, and politically ended a decades-long violent conflict, this exhibit and discussion could not have been more timely for the people directly impacted by brutal violence and forced displacement.  

The project was made possible by a collaboration of the Open Hands Initiative, a US-based foundation that fosters public diplomacy through comprehensive programs, the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, and the University of Antioquiah in Medellin, whose doctors and students have been serving the healthcare needs of Granizal residents for nearly 20 years.  

With these photos, I am humbled to give voice to those who might not otherwise be heard, and whose continued struggles at the cost of violence and corruption must end.

A special thanks to the OHI team for pursuing this important initiative, J. Sybylla Smith for helping curate this collection of photos and her tireless inspiration, the doctors and students at UdA who work in the field in Colombia, and the beautiful people of Granizal who are shining examples of hope and resilience.  

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So this is going to happen (I am so excited!!)

This past January, I went to Colombia with an organization called Open Hands Initiative (www.openhandsinitiative.org).  I was hired to photograph and document the journey of 16 masters-level students from Harvard and the University of Antioquia in Medellin as they transcended cultural boundaries to find solutions to public health crises amongst Colombia's displaced communities.

This Fall, many of the photographs I took will be featured in a traveling exhibit and panel discussion aimed to raise further awareness of these public health issues in vulnerable communities such as Granizal.

I am humbled and honored to help this beautiful and hopeful community by sharing their stories, their strength and their resolution.

More information on exhibit dates and locations to come!

Colombia ...

I was blessed to spend nearly two weeks in the beautiful country of Colombia.  There, I worked with healthcare providers and students to find solutions for the more than 6 million people who have been displaced by the violent conflict for the past 20 years.  The stories behind many of these photos will break your heart - but the resolve, hope and strength that they hold dearly is an example to us all.