Solidarity Is Like Air portrays the harsh realities of bateye (communities located by sugarcane fields) life for Haitian immigrants in the Dominican Republic. The photography exhibit addresses the socio-economic roots of the bateye residents’ continuous struggles, but also incorporates an optimistic tone by telling the story of grassroots efforts by Dominican NGOs and American volunteers to improve the quality of life on the bateyes. The title of the show, Solidarity Is Like Air, expresses the essential role of solidarity between people to create real and lasting change.
Miriam Fogelson took the photographs during a volunteer delegation organized by American Jewish World Service, a non-profit organization that helps alleviate poverty, hunger and disease among the people of the world regardless of race, religion or nationality. During the one-week trip in November 2004 Fogelson and 10 other adult volunteers lived and worked in Los Jovillos, an extremely impoverished bateye located one hour north of Santo Domingo, and volunteered with MOSCTHA, a non-profit organization that improves the economic and social well being of Haitians and their descendents in the Dominican Republic.
This exhibit is made possible through the generous support of the Puffin Foundation, American Jewish World Service, Trudy Silver and the 5C Cultural Center, the Jewish Coalition for Service, Ken Wahl and Gary Fogelson.
Miriam Fogelson is a 25-year-old freelance photographer, youth educator and activist who lives in Brooklyn, NY. She graduated from Boston University in 2003 with a B.S. in Journalism and concentrations in Photojournalism and Sustainable Development. Miriam has photographed grassroots social movements in Mexico, Cuba, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Boston and N.Y.C. Her photographs have appeared in several independent publications as well as solo and group shows in Boston, N.Y.C. and Yale University. To view some of Miriam’s photos visit her website.
Opening reception guest speakers will include Ilana Aisen, the Delegations Coordinator from American Jewish World Service and Marianne Mollmann, the Americas Researcher for the Human Rights Watch Women’s Rights Division.