Ryan Spencer Reed’s photography exhibit, Sudan: The Cost of Silence, is on display through this Friday, Feb. 21 in Muskegon Community College’s Overbrook Gallery.
This collection of 36 photographic prints is compiled from thousands of images Reed took on various visits to Sudan, Kenya, and Chad, while documenting the impact of two decades of civil war in southern Sudan as well as the crisis in the western Darfur region.
Beginning in 2002, Reed traveled to eastern and central Africa several times to document the injustices taking place. Since early 2003, Darfur has been embroiled in a man-made crisis the United States has called genocide.
In late summer 2004, he returned home to find an audience for this work in universities, museums, and galleries throughout North America in the form of traveling photographic exhibitions and lectures. They became the cultural backdrop for symposiums designed to grapple with the issues facing the Sudanese people. The Open Society Institute and Soros Foundation awarded him with the Documentary Photography Project’s Distribution Grant in 2006, to help his work reach additional audiences.
“I see myself as a very privileged member of Western society who has a responsibility to do something about the injustices in the world,” says Reed, who makes his voice heard through his photographs. They force viewers to confront yet another genocide taking place in our lifetime and remind them of the cost of remaining silent in the face of oppression. The situation in Sudan remains critical to this day.
The artist will be on campus Monday, Feb. 10, to lecture about his exhibit. The talk, which is free and open to the public, begins at 7 p.m. in Stevenson Center Room 1100. His subject matter is linked to the annual MCC Global Awareness Festival, which focuses on a different region of the world each year. This year’s theme is Africa. All events are free and open to the public.
Reed’s visit and exhibition are generously sponsored by MCC’s Student Activities, Veterans Student Association, Diversity Committee, Social Science Department, and the Arts and Humanities Department.
Overbrook Gallery admission is free. Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Friday. For more information, call (231) 777-0324.