WORDS ABOUT THE WORK
"This exhibition is an important reflection of light, both literally and metaphysically. It is so important at this time to embrace our oneness and this exhibition does just that, it allows us to bear witness and embrace the light that resides within each of us."
– Greg Davis, National Geographic Creative
“Stunning exhibition. A tribute to the diversity of Austin.”
– Anne Bruno, associate editor at Tribeza magazine
"I was honestly surprised to find how deeply Refugee is Not My Name touched me. This presentation packs a surprisingly powerful emotional punch, putting real human faces on the stories that are buried behind the headlines. These are real people, just like you, just like me. "Refugee is Not My Name" is a story that needs to be told, and the more people who see it, the better. It's stories like these that built this country...this is the story of America."
– Bruce Jones, Austin musician and bassist for Omar & the Howlers
"It has reminding me that I was once a refugee too. We are quick to forget our painful pasts when times are good, but it is important to remember that I was all of those people and have a lot more in common with them than the word refugee. This exhibit has renewed my hope in caring people especially in a time of unrest and hate in the world. When you see the smiles and happiness of the participants in Refugee is Not My Name, you will know that helping someone start a new life is priceless."
– Jasmin, Project participant
“Refugee is Not My Name” exposed me to another reality… an introduction to the refugees living and working within Austin...and did a great job of telling their story of struggle with grace and humility. The interconnections of the peoples of the world were evident and a message of union and goodwill inspired. Go see it!
– Sean Carnegie, Partner, LewisCarnegie
"I expected to be moved by "Refugee is Not My Name," to leave the exhibition feeling sobered and saddened by what so many people in terrifying transitions currently face. What I didn't expect was all the flooding warmth and recognition and flashes of humor. Walking among the exquisite portraits and intimate, deftly written profiles, I felt something steal over me that I've only experienced a handful of times. Those times have often been late at night, around a friend's dinner table, talking and laughing over candlelight, sharing stories that don't come out by day. Archer Weiss and St. Clair are the hosts of this gathering, introducing you with sensitivity, integrity, and profound respect to these recently resettled Austin residents. Staring into their eyes, reading their words, you see yourself, you learn from their journey, and you leave buoyed and humbled by their fierce hope."
– Brittani Sonnenberg, author
"This exhibition is about seeing each other as humans - about stripping down the things that make us different and coming back to what makes us people - about telling stories about the things we love, the heartbreak we experience, the families we have, and all the loss and joy we experience - the striking photography and heartfelt storytelling reminds us that as humans we all want to feel connected, seen and included. You do not want to miss the opportunity to witness this work of art in action!"
– Maria Hernandez, founder/executive director, VELA Foundation
“The displays and stories are wonderful. Refugee is Not My Name captures the complexity and beauty of refugee individuals in Austin.”
– Simone Flowers, executive director, Interfaith Action of Central Texas
“Refugee is Not My Name is a masterpiece in storytelling. The experience breaks down cultural barriers and encourages connections where stigma once was. The show is an interactive journey through photography, writing, film and human fellowship, bringing love and light to the everyone who calls Austin “home,” from lifelong residents to refugees.”
– Bo Duncan, creative director, STAV Creative
"This exhibit touched my heart and my soul. It moved me to put a face and name to these people’s stories about the reasons they had to seek asylum. I am proud of the people of Austin and the creators of this exhibit for reaching out and allowing these people to feel safe and become contributing members of their new community. "
– Donna Bailey, Austinite