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Somerville photographer displays exhibit on immigrants in Boston at convention center

Posted by Your Town  March 6, 2013 06:38 AM

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Somerville-based photographer Randi Freundlich will display her work at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center on March 28. Her exhibit, titled “Children of the World | Boston,” includes 32 large-scale color photographs that tell the story about immigrant families and their children living in Boston. The exhibit will be displayed until January 2014.

Freundlich, who is also a social worker for the Family Nurturing Center of Massachusetts, said her project was inspired by the work she does with immigrant families. She said that she was blown away by some of the challenges they face, and she sought to document their lives through pairing their photographs with their stories.

“When you see the exhibit and read the stories you get a full, wonderful, rich experience of what it’s like for other people who move to this country,” Freundlich said. “You see kids being kids and you fall in love with the amazing nature of children, and you start to realize what’s behind their pictures and the stories that they’re telling.”

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Tsewang and her brother (not pictured) were born in the U.S. Their parents were born in India, where their parents fled from Tibet when the Chinese occupation began. In the exhibit, Freundlich discusses the difficulties families can have in maintaining cultural identity through generations. Photo by Randi Freundlich

Freundlich began her project in 2010, when she started photographing children from immigrant families in the Boston area. After finding families willing to participate in her project, Freundlich photographed and interviewed families wherever they chose, including a public swimming pool, the family’s home, the library or a place of worship. Freundlich said this resulted in a variety of expressions, depth and emotion in her photographs.

The idea of “kids being kids” is a strong theme throughout Freundlich’s exhibition. However, she said that she hopes the pictures of children will draw viewers in to learn about their powerful stories of struggle, happiness and identity.

“We don’t recognize that we are a nation of immigrants, and that we tend to have unaware prejudices against people who are different from us,” Freundlich said. “When you see [the exhibit] you get much more of a picture of the humanity of all people.”

This is Freundlich’s first solo exhibit. While her work will be displayed until January 2014, Freundlich plans to continue photographing and documenting immigrant families and their stories to expand her project.

Freundlich’s series “Children of the World | Boston” will be exhibited at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center at 415 Summer Street in Boston until January 2014. A public reception will be held on March 28 from 6 to 8 p.m.

For more information about the exhibit, the artist or to participate in the project, visit Freundlich’s website.

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