The Paterson Museum had planned to debut an exhibit titled “Seeking Refuge: Images of those Displaced by War, Poverty and Persecution” at its Market Street location in May.
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closing of the museum two months before the anticipated opening, however, the show found itself homeless.
The museum this week unveiled an extensive virtual version of “Seeking Refuge: Images of those Displaced by War, Poverty and Persecution” on its website. The exhibit spotlights seven photo essays by multimedia journalist Thomas E. Franklin that “depict the experiences of many who are currently displaced and shed light on the highly complex circumstances surrounding global migration.”
As an independent freelance multimedia journalist, over the past six years, I have explored and published a stories, both personal and collective tales of people seeking safety in foreign lands,” explains Franklin in the exhibit’s accompanying text. “I have visited places abroad where the forcibly displaced are at the most vulnerable, such as in Lesvos, Greece, and Tijuana, Mexico, as well as here in our local communities in New Jersey, in hopes of better understanding the impact forced migration has had on these asylum seekers (or refugees).
“In each of these places, the vast majority of people I met said they would be willing to do whatever it takes to gain a better life for themselves and their families, no matter the risk because the place they left was far worse,” added Franklin, who was a photographer for the Bergen Record and teaches at Montclair State University.
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