Love After Loss Exhibit Highlights Children’s Lives In Ethiopia

Love After Loss, an exhibit of photographs of children in Ethiopia by Elena Rue, will be displayed at Duke University’s Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy, from September 16, 2008 to January 9, 2009. An opening reception at the institute, on September 16, 5–6 p.m., is free and open to the public.

Love After Loss, an exhibit of photographs of children in Ethiopia by Elena RueRue worked in Ethiopia in 2006 as a Lewis Hine Fellow. The Lewis Hine Documentary Fellows Program is a project of the Center for Documentary Studies (CDS). Each year, Hine Fellows are sent to placements domestically and abroad to work with local organizations to document humanitarian issues over the course of ten months.

In collaboration with Hope for Children (HFC) in Ethiopia, Rue worked closely with orphaned children living in group homes. HFC, started six years ago by an Ethiopian woman in response to the rapidly growing number of children orphaned by HIV/AIDS, provides support to more than 700 children. The homes are the size of a traditional Ethiopian family (6-8 children), and each is headed by a group home mother. Rue spent time in seven of these group homes during the nine months that she worked in Ethiopia. This exhibit gives a window into the lives of these children and into this remarkable and effective response to the overwhelming problem of HIV and AIDS. (For an on-line view of some of Rue’s work, click here. )

“Elena Rue brings us close to the experiences of these Ethiopian children. She has made color photographs so penetratingly beautiful that we can see beyond the crisis that has engendered these expressions, see far and deep enough to recognize our common humanity,” said Alex Harris, founder and creative director of the Hine Fellows Program and a professor of the practice of PPS.

The exhibition is supported by the Lewis Hine Documentary Fellows Program at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. The Lewis Hine Documentary Fellows Program receives additional support from the Philanthropic Initiative and the Jessica Jennifer Cohen Foundation.