Back to All Events

Doc DET '17 Kickoff: Presenting Salwan Georges and Smita Sharma!

  • Red Bull House of Art 1551 Winder Street Detroit, MI, 48207 United States (map)

Join Us at Red Bull House of Art for an evening of photography and conversation, featuring presentations by Salwan Georges (Detroit Free Press) and Smita Sharma (Independent Photographer based in New York, NY and Delhi, India) The event will be hosted by Karah Shaffer and Alan Chin of Documenting DETROIT. Attendees will also be introduced to the application process for the 2017 Documenting DETROIT Fellowship.

Salwan Georges is an Iraqi-American photojournalist calling Metro Detroit his home since 2004. He is currently a staff photographer at the Detroit Free Press. Georges’ long-term project documents Iraqi refugees in the metro Detroit area. Since the global refugee crisis has worsened, the U.S. acceptance of refugees has become controversial as the country tries to understand the complex myriad of conflicts in the Middle East. Michigan has been home to one of the largest Arab community outside the Middle East for decades. 

"A lot of refugees suffer but don’t open up about those events in their life, they’re just happy to be safe. For me, working on this project is not only to document the invisible struggle of those refugees, but to be reconnected with the richness of a culture I left behind. As I photograph refugees, in every photo, I see myself and my family’s story."

Georges’ work has also been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, LensCulture, and The Intercept, and has been exhibited at the Arab American National Museum.

Smita Sharma is an independent photojournalist and documentary photographer based in Delhi, Kolkata and New York. Her work primarily focuses on gender violence and human rights issues. She graduated in photojournalism and documentary photography from the International Center of Photography, New York in 2013 and has a post graduate degree in Journalism from University of Pune. Born and raised in the Himalayan foothills of Shillong City, India, she has lived and travelled widely in India, South Asia and USA. Her work has been published in various international publications including CNN , The Washington Post, New York Times, BBC, The Globe and Mail, Spiegel, Channel 4, Quartz among others. Her work has been screened at Visa pour l’Image, Perpignan, and exhibited in various countries. She is the recipient of The Washington Post Award at the Eddie Adams Workshop in 2013 and National Silver Karamveer medal and PVCHR Bronze medal for Protection of Human Rights at Rex Conclave in Delhi in 2015. In 2016, she was named the finalist for outstanding photography for publishing Documenting Rape in India (New York Times Lens Blog) by the South Asian Journalists Association. Her ongoing project on sexual violence and rape in India called “It’s Not My Shame” was represented by the India chapter and exhibited during CSW-59 at the UN Headquarters in New York.

Red Bull House of Art is a live-in residency experience in Detroit, dedicated to providing visual artists the freedom and space to create. Our aim is to support courageous exploration in visual arts. The Red Bull House of Art invites select artists from around the world to take up official residency in Detroit to work for three months with three residencies taking place a year. Throughout the residency, the House opens its doors for community-focused events, powerful exhibitions and artist talks, before concluding with an exhibition of the residents’ work.