Summer 2012 : Fight
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Summer 2012 : Fight
Oregon Humanities: Summer 2012
Like many photojournalists, Jim Lommasson would rather be behind the camera than in front. But perhaps unlike many photojournalists, Lommasson considers his cheap digital audio recorder more important than the expensive equipment in his camera bag—that’s because his subjects’ words are just as important to him as the images he captures.
The traveling exhibition Exit Wounds: Life after War is a collaborative oral history project that includes Lommasson’s photography, thousands of photographs taken by soldiers during their deployment, and excerpts from interviews with or writing by the soldiers. Early in curating the exhibit, Lommasson saw the participatory potential of the project and invited veterans who viewed the exhibit to contribute their own images. The result is a powerful, textured mosaic that shows the sprawling, unwieldy nature of the war experience through the eyes and words of soldiers.
Lommasson was inspired to work on Exit Wounds by his late father, who was a soldier in World War II and shared his experiences and thoughts about war with his son only near the end of his life. “Soldiers need to tell their stories,” Lommasson says, “and we need to hear them.”
Details of the project can be seen on the following pages and also on the Exit Wounds website: exitwoundshomecoming.blogspot.com. Lommasson also leads a Conversation Project program for Oregon Humanities called “Life after War: Photography and Oral Histories of Coming Home.” Nonprofit organizations in Oregon can get more information about how to host this program in their communities at oregonhumanities.org.
Use the viewer below to see more of the photos and stories from Exit Wounds.
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Oregon Humanities magazine examines topics of broad public interest from a variety of perspectives and approaches. Recent issues of this publication have focused on stuff, nostalgia, and civility. Through good and thoughtful writing, Oregon Humanities magazine enriches our understanding of important subjects and stimulates conversation and reflection among readers, their friends, families, colleagues, and neighbors.
For more than a decade Camas Davis has been a magazine editor and writer for national magazines such as National Geographic Adventure and Saveur, and local publications such as Portland Monthly, Edible Portland, and Mix. In 2009, she traveled to France to study butchery. Upon her return, she founded the Portland Meat Collective, a traveling butchery school.
Eric Gold is a freelance writer in Portland.
J. David Santen Jr. has written about books, business, the environment, and communities for the Oregonian, the Portland Business Journal, and other publications. He lives in Portland.
Jill Owens works in marketing for Powell’s Books, where interviewing authors is the most interesting part of her job. She’s originally from the South but has lived in Oregon for eleven years and is here to stay.
Photographer Jim Lommasson received the Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor prize from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University for Shadow Boxers: Sweat, Sacrifice & the Will to Survive in American Boxing Gyms. Previous publications include Oaks Park Pentimento. His photographs have been widely exhibited in museums and galleries.
John Frohnmayer is chair of the Oregon Humanities board of directors.
Margot Minardi is an assistant professor of history and humanities at Reed College, and the author of Making Slavery History: Abolitionism and the Politics of Memory in Massachusetts (2010). She is currently working on a history of the nineteenth-century American peace movement.