Ohio Wesleyan to Host ‘History of the Future’ Photography Exhibit

Museum show focuses on issues of Mexican migration

‘Checkpoint,’ Hermosillo, Sonora, 2004, by Julián Cardona. Immigration-themed photographs by Cardona, a photojournalist, and by Michael Berman, an art-photographer, will be on display from March 1 through April 6 at the Ross Art Museum. (Photo courtesy of the Lannan Foundation)

From March 1 through April 26, Ohio Wesleyan’s Ross Art Museum will be filled with photographs that focus on the issue of Mexican migration. To allow as many people as possible to see the powerful exhibit, the museum will remain open during OWU’s upcoming spring break, a time it traditionally is closed.

“This is an important exhibit and a prime example of how we can integrate art into the university curriculum,” says museum director Justin Kronewetter, M.F.A. “It also is a visually stunning collection of photographs that speaks to the heart of the immigration issues facing the United States and Mexico.”

The History of the Future/La Historia del Futuro” features 50 black-and-white images by art-photographer Michael Berman and photojournalist Julián Cardona. Both men will come to campus March 24 to participate in an immigration-themed panel discussion at 7 p.m. in Room 312 of the R.W. Corns Building. An artists’ reception will follow at the museum.

In explaining the purpose and power of “The History of the Future,” curator Nancy Sutor of New Mexico, states:

“Immigration may be one of the most important and controversial issues of our time, and public policy and legislation are not resolving it Each year half a million people or more cross the U.S.-Mexico border to work illegally in the United States. They risk injury, attack, rape, and death to work in the U.S., often under dangerous an exploitive conditions.”

The exhibit is part of this year’s Sagan National Colloquium, which annually examines an issue of global significance. This year’s theme is “Global Opportunities for Global Citizens,” and the exhibit is being presented in partnership with the Colloquium, the International Studies Program, and the William H. Eells National Colloquium Exhibition Fund.

‘Fallen Ordnance,’ Mohawk Valley, Arizona, 2007, by Michael Berman. Berman’s stark images of the landscape surrounding the U.S.-Mexican border and photojournalist Julián Cardona’s images of the lives impacted by Mexican migration will fill the Ross Art Museum as part of ‘The History of the Future/La Historia del Futuro’ exhibit now being installed. (Photo courtesy of the Lannan Foundation)

In addition to the 50 large-scale photographs featured in the exhibit, a commemorative booklet also has been created to explain the project to viewers. In the booklet, environmental journalist Charles Bowden shares his thoughts on “The History of the Future.”

“Here is the deal: you can pretend that the human migration is manageable, and you can pretend that the world of rock and soil and plants and animals will be preserved without any constraint on human appetites and without any regulation of human markets,” Bowden writes. “Or you can really look at the images. And if you really look, you will learn a simple fact. This ground will be destroyed before you die unless you act. These human beings fleeing north will never stop coming unless their world is made whole.”

“The History of the Future/La Historia del Futuro” exhibit is sponsored by the nonprofit Lannan Foundation.

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