University of Richmond Museums opens 'Because of Conflict: Photographs by Peter Turnley'

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University of Richmond Museums opens 'Because of Conflict: Photographs by Peter Turnley'
Peter Turnley (American, born 1955), Gulf War Refugees, Jordanian Desert, 1991, archival pigment print on paper, image 13 1/16 x 19 11/16 inches, Joel and Lila Harnett Print Study Center, University of Richmond Museums, Gift of James P. Kearney, ’85, H2018.26.11, Ⓒ Peter Turnley, photograph by Taylor Dabney.

RICHMOND, VA.- The University of Richmond Museums opened Because of Conflict: Photographs by Peter Turnley, on view in the Harnett Print Study Center, January 15 through April 24, 2020. Award-winning photographer and photojournalist Peter Turnley (American, born 1955), is known for his images of conflict, struggle, humanity, and inhumanity witnessed around the world. He has captured pivotal moments in history such as the 1989 overthrow of the brutal, communist leader Nicolae Ceauşescu of Romania and moments of reflection, such as an American soldier on duty in Saudi Arabia, writing home for the holidays during the Gulf War in 1990. Turnley also focuses on itinerant populations, such as refugees from Middle Eastern conflicts and migrants at the U.S./Mexico border in Laredo, Texas.

In discussing his photographic approach, Turnley states, “My interest in photographing life has always been about sharing, sharing my observations, perceptions, and feelings about the world that I witness and encounter.” (from “Interviews from Havana,” online interview by teleSUR, 2015).

“It might be important to add that powerful photographs don’t come from a formula — they are about the human story, they most often emanate from human sincerity and authenticity, and, as in life itself, genuine compassion seems to go a long way.” (from “The Online Photographer” blog, July 10, 2019).

This exhibition of twelve photographs is accompanied by texts written by the following University of Richmond faculty and a student, in response to the imagery and based on their own scholarship and experiences:

• Timothy Barney, Associate Professor, Rhetoric and Communication Studies
• Sonja Bertucci, Visiting Assistant Professor of Film Studies
• Miguel Diaz-Barriga, Professor of Anthropology, Sociology, and Anthropology
• Margaret Dorsey, Associate Professor of Anthropology
• Robert Hodierne, Associate Professor and Chair of Journalism
• Lina Tori Jan, ’20, leadership and political science double major, Bonner Scholar, and 2019 Newman Civic Fellow
• Kasongo Kapanga, Professor of French and Francophone Studies, Department of Languages, Literature, and Cultures
• Lidia Radi, Associate Professor of French and Italian, Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
• Yucel Yanikdag, Associate Professor, Department of History

Turnley’s photographs have been featured in numerous publications including Newsweek, Harper’s, Paris Match, Le Monde, The London Sunday Times, LIFE, National Geographic, The New Yorker, and more, and he has published six books of his work. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan, the Sorbonne, and the Institut d’Etudes Politiques of Paris, and has received an honorary degree from the New School of Social Research in New York. He currently lives in New York and Paris, and is engaged in an on-going photo-essay project in Cuba.

Organized by the University of Richmond Museums, the exhibition was curated by N. Elizabeth Schlatter, Deputy Director and Curator of Exhibitions, University Museums. The exhibition is made possible in part with funds from the Louis S. Booth Arts Fund, and it is part of the two-year themed programming, Contested Spaces: This Ground, offered by departments within the University of Richmond’s School of Arts & Sciences.

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