Through Dec. 23, Danville’s Community Arts Center will feature the exhibit, My New Kentucky Home: Exploring the Struggles and Triumphs of Kentucky’s Resettled Refugees, a collection of photographs and interview exerpts collected by Emma Jackson ’18 and Hibah Siddiqui ’19.
Jackson and Siddiqui received support for the project through a summer research scholarship provided by Centre College’s Creative Thinking Immersion Program (CTIP). The exhibit endeavors to humanize the refugee crisis while providing insight into their lives.
“Hibah and I wanted to find a project with the potential to make a real impact on our community,” Jackson says. “We were both unsettled by the negative rhetoric and fear that was being spread about the refugee crisis, and we wanted to humanize the refugees by sharing their stories and photographs in the hopes of inspiring a more accepting and welcoming community.”
This past summer, Jackson and Siddiqui traveled around Kentucky interviewing and photographing refugees with support from refugee resettlement organizations including Kentucky Refugee Ministries of Lexington and Louisville as well as the International Center of Kentucky and the Bowling Green Technical College. They also benefited from the support of Robert Bosco, associate professor of international studies, and other Centre professors who enriched their creative learning experience.
Although nothing has been confirmed, the two students are in talks with other galleries in Kentucky and Washington, D.C.
“I think it is particularly important to reflect on the lives of others during the holidays to remind ourselves not to take freedom for granted,” Jackson says.
CTIP is a component of Creative Centre, an initiative designed to encourage a campus culture that values and practices creative thinking throughout the entire educational experience. The program is an outgrowth of the College’s reaccreditation process for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges that involved input from many Centre faculty members and students, making it a community-based and comprehensive program.
Six elements that address all aspects of life at the College have been implemented as part of Creative Centre, from classes to co-curricular activities to campus spaces. The program has become an integrated part of the Centre Experience, and is another way Centre is fulfilling its mission of preparing students for lives of learning, leadership, and service.
by Cindy Long
December 6, 2016