Fine Art Photography Daily

Remaking the Monument: Immigrant Stories at Bush House Museum

Mariamou Abdoulaye

© Sankar Raman, Mariamou Abdoulaye

Mariamou Bowl

©Jim Lommasson, Mariamou Abdoulaye, Bowl

“We cannot change the past, but we must acknowledge that powerful forces within society fostered persistent barriers for people of color to migrate and create their homes here in Oregon. In spite of all this, we came anyway. These are our stories.” -Sankar Raman, Founder of The Immigrant Story

The Immigrant Story (TIS) and Jim Lommasson are honored to be invited by the Salem Art Associaton and Bush House Museum to present a historic exhibition, Remaking the Monument: Immigrant Stories at Bush House Museum. Curated by Jen Richardson-Greene, the exhibition will be on display at the Bush House Museum, 600 Mission St, SE, Salem, OR 97302, through October 31. The Bush House Museum is one of Oregon’s oldest surviving pioneer farmsteads. It was built on the ancestral lands of Kalapuya tribe by Asahel Bush, a businessman and a founding editor of The Oregon Statesman newspaper. Bush was among the early Oregon settlers who campaigned to exclude free Blacks from entering Oregon. The infamous exclusion provision he campaigned for remained in the Oregon Constitution.

Remaking the Monument: Immigrant Stories at Bush House Museum includes portraits, stories, and treasured objects belonging to immigrants and refugees to a place that is a symbol of policies created to exclude people of color from entering the state. It brings new meaning to rooms haunted by the racist rhetoric and  actions of Bush and his advocates.

Jen Richardson-Greene has curated images from The Immigrant Story exhibitions DREAMS Deferred, I Am My Story, To Bear Witness and I Am An American, and added new images to create this show. These portraits and objects are artistically and intentionally placed to occupy the spaces within the house. This compelling exhibition reminds us that, despite the restrictions, these new Oregonians came, thrived and made homes here.Emmanuel Turaturanye

© Sankar Raman, Emmanuel Turaturanye

Emmanuel Photo

Emmanuel Turaturanye, Photograph

Remaking the Monument honors the extraordinary lives of immigrants and refugees living in Oregon today. They hold our gaze with strength and compassion. They occupy spaces where difference was not allowed, where racism was fierce, and where abolitionists were disparaged. Their possessions challenge the notion of historical preservation. Their stories rouse our deepest stirrings of the American Dream, as they recount surviving war, genocide, incarceration, discrimination, and threats of deportation. These Oregonians inspire us by surviving the unspeakable, healing lineages, enriching our cultural tapestries, leading communities, and breaking glass ceilings.

Bernal Cruz-Muñoz

© Sankar Raman, Bernal Cruz-Muñoz

Bernal Marbles

Bernal Cruz-Muñoz, Marbles

Belise Nishimwe

©Elayna Yussen, Belise Nishimwe

Belise Hands

©Jim Lommasson, Belise Nishimwe, Hands

Divine Irambona II

©Sankar Raman, Divine Irambona II

Devine Ball

©Jim Lommasson, Divine Irambona II, Ball

Ivan Hernandez

©Sankar Raman, Ivan Hernandez

Ivan T Shirt

©Jim Lommasson, Ivan Hernandez, T-Shirt

Janice Okamoto

©Sankar Raman, Janice Okamoto

Janice Okamoto Tool Box

©Jim Lommasson, Janice Okamoto, Tool Box

Liani Reeves

©Sankar Raman, Liani Reeves

Liani Reeves PJs

©Jim Lommasson, Liani Reeves, PJs

Xiomara Torres

©Sankar Raman, Xiomara Torres

Judge Xiomora Pasport

©Jim Lommasson, Judge Xiomara Torres, Passport

Liliana Luna

©Sankar Raman, Liliana Luna

Liliana Luna CD

©Jim Lommasson, Liliana Luna, CD

Miguel Rodriguez

©Sankar Raman, Miguel Rodriguez

Miguel Photo

©Jim Lommasson, Miguel Rodriguez, Photo

Rama Youssef

©Sankar Raman, Rama Youssef

Rama Youssef Dress

©Jim Lommasson, Rama Youssef, Dress

Samir Khurshid

©Sankar Raman, Samir Khurshid


©Jim Lommasson, Samir Khurshid, Parent’s Painting

Yesica Pérez Barrios

©Sankar Raman, Yesica Pérez Barrios

Yessica TankTop

©Jim Lommasson, Yesica Pérez Barrios, Tank Top

SANKAR RAMAN is the Founder and current board president of The Immigrant Story, a non-profit dedicated to the recording of immigrant histories through photography, interviews, journalism, recordings, exhibitions, podcasts, and live story-telling events. These historical testimonies offer

an important means of connection by creating empathy and understanding across cultural barriers. In this way, The Immigrant Story offers a platform for documenting and sharing oral and cultural histories and healing personal trauma.

JIM LOMMASSON is a freelance photographer and author living in Portland, Oregon; next to each of The Immigrant Story portraits are his photographs of objects that are part of a larger series by Lommasson called What We Carried. These photographs of objects, memorabilia, culture, family, journey, loss, and identity are inscribed by each participant.

Posts on Lenscratch may not be reproduced without the permission of the Lenscratch staff and the photographer.

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