Today I had the opportunity to tour the exhibit “Resettling in America, Georgia’s Refugee Communities” at the CDC Museum in Atlanta with its curator, Louise Shaw. I am honored to be one of the contributing photographers to the exhibit. In 2012-2013, I had the opportunity to photograph international farmers in Decatur, Clarkston and Stone Mountain who had come to the United States as refugees. The gardens and farms in which I photographed are managed by Global Growers (www.globalgrowers.org). My introduction to Global Growers occurred serendipitously in the spring of 2012. I was driving along College Avenue in Decatur when a splash of color caught my peripheral vision and I turned to look. In a large garden plot next to the road several African women in colorful traditional dress and one with a baby slung on her back, were gardening. It was a scene out of National Geographic. I made a hasty U-turn, parked my car, grabbed my camera and introduced myself to a woman who was overseeing the group. I learned that the beautiful women gardening were from Burundi and affiliated with Global Growers. I was not allowed to photograph that day but shortly afterwards I formed a partnership with Global Growers and had the honor of photographing many of the farmers. I was fascinated with their stories about resettling in America and the challenges they faced navigating within a foreign culture. I admired the people I met for their tenacity, resourcefulness, work ethic and warmth. The image above is one that is featured in the exhibit. Bamboo is being harvested at Bamboo Creek Farm in Stone Mountain and was used to build a fence around the Decatur Kitchen Garden to keep the deer at bay.
To learn more about the refugee communities in Georgia visit the exhibit “Resettling in America” (http://www.cdc.gov/museum/). The exhibit is beautiful, informative and runs through December.