Photo exhibit projected on exterior of Michael Lee-Chin Crystal

From September 8 to 17, 2007, the Institute for Contemporary Culture (ICC) at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) presents DARFUR/DARFUR, a provocative photography exhibit projected on the exterior of the Museum’s Michael Lee-Chin Crystal. Over 150 large-scale colour and black-and-white images by seven international photojournalists and one former U.S. Marine explore the lives of the men, women and children who are currently under attack in the Darfur region in western Sudan. The images will be visible at night from dusk to 11 pm on the ROM’s Bloor Street Plaza, in front of the Lee-Chin Crystal.

This travelling exhibit includes photographs taken in Darfur from 2003 to the present by former U.S. Marine Brian Steidle and photojournalists Lynsey Addario, Mark Brecke, Helene Caux, Ron Haviv, Paolo Pellegrin, Ryan Spencer Reed, and Michal Safdie. Edited into two film loops by J. Matthew Jacob and accompanied by traditional Sudanese music, this powerful selection of images provides a closer look at the village life, violence, military response, efforts by aid workers and the dire conditions of refugee camps. A longer unedited version, offering additional information about the Darfur crisis, will be on view in a small screen format in the Museum’s front entrance lobby.

"These powerful images of family and culture under attack show us that the face of Darfur is our face - and that we have a collective, urgent responsibility to act," said American architect Leslie Thomas, who in September 2006 created the exhibit to bring the story of the Darfur crisis to the attention of the public and the media. DARFUR/DARFUR has been displayed on the exteriors of the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles (October 2006), the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC (November 2006), and the Jewish Museum in Berlin (April 2007). After the ROM, DARFUR/DARFUR will be on view at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts from September 26 to October 3, 2007. For more information on the exhibit, visit www.darfurdarfur.org

On Saturday, September 8, 2007 from 8 to 9 pm, the ICC celebrates the public opening with a performance by south Sudanese band Konyokonyo Musica. Founder Lee Kondu and his 13-member group will perform Southern Sudanese African music, including Soukous, Reggae, Rap and Arabic Juba. On Friday, September 14 from 7 to 8 pm, Ruth Mathiang & Friends will perform a selection of Hip Hop, Reggae, Afro-beat and Gospel songs in Swahili, Arabic and English. Originally from Khartoon in northern Sudan, Mathiang grew up in Kenya and immigrated to Canada in 2001. Both performances are free and will take place on the ROM’s Bloor Street Plaza outside the Lee-Chin Crystal.

The ROM’s engagement of DARFUR/DARFUR is presented in association with the Toronto International Film Festival’s Future Projections.

About the Institute for Contemporary Culture

The ROM’s Institute for Contemporary Culture plays a vital role in a museum whose collections embrace many civilizations, as well as the record of nature through countless ages. In the context of the ROM’s lively documentation of history, the ICC explores current cultural issues through the exhibitions of art and architecture, lectures, film series, and informal gatherings. The ICC provides a unique forum where the new encounters the historical and anthropological. It explores both the continuity and discontinuity of cultures—their relationships across space and time, to each other and to the natural world. The ROM’s collections provide context and depth to contemporary issues addressed by artists, architects, and participants in ICC events from around the world. For further information, please visit the ICC website at www.rom.on.ca/about/icc/.