Images of Agony: One day Darfur exhibit at ICA

Michael Hogan

This Friday, September 7, the Institute of Contemporary Art will feature a special one-day exhibit called Darfur/Darfur. The exhibit features digital photographs taken in the Darfur region of Sudan and stress both the diverse culture and the atrocities that have taken place there in recent years.

For those of you who haven’t followed the coverage of crisis, here is a quick explanation. Over 300,000 people have died in more than three years of fighting between rival groups in Darfur, an area of Western Sudan roughly about the size of France. Over the past several years the fighting has escalated and the death toll has risen exponentially. Clashes between government forces and rebel groups have left nearly two million people displaced as villages are burned and resources looted. To say the situation is dire is insufficient; grave doesn’t even begin to capture the horror of this humanitarian catastrophe.

As a way of drawing attention to the situation, as well as documenting a culture that is rapidly disappearing amidst the chaos, Darfur/Darfur was established. The exhibit features a series of photographs that depict the carnage. They are interspersed with images that capture the unique ways of the native Sudanese people, while a soundtrack of traditional Sudanese music is played.

The exhibit will be at the ICA beginning at 10am and will be held in three parts. The first part showcases the photographs themselves, and is included with admission to the museum. In addition to the exhibit, there will be a panel with photographer Michal Ronnen Safdie and author Samantha Power and features a performance from world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Tickets for this part of the event will be available inside the museum. Following the evening’s panel the Berklee College of music choir Voices of Mercy will perform for free on the museum’s plaza, while the images in the exhibit are displayed through the glass of the museum’s theater.

So, on Friday, make your way down to the ICA and take in some great photography while at the same time absorbing a little education on one of the greatest catastrophes of our time. The ICA located at 100 Northern Ave in South Boston. For more information visit


10:00AM-3:00PM Digitally projected photographs will be displayed in the theater.

7:00PM-8:30PM Keynote address by Harvard Professor and author of “A Problem in Hell: America in the Age of Genocide” Samantha Power. Overview of the crisis and the needs of refugees and displaced peoples with Susannah Sirkin, Deputy Director of Physicians for Human Rights and photographer Michal Ronnen Safdie. Featuring a performance by cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

8:30PM-10:00PM – large scale photographs visible on the waterfront plaza through the museum’s glass walls. Featuring a musical performance by Berklee College of Music’s Voices of Mercy.