"Children of the World - Boston" Exhibit Opens May 4 at City Hall
Twenty-eight color photographs are on exhibit at Somerville City Hall, at 93 Highland Avenue in Somerville, through June 2017
Somerville, MA — April 27, 2017 — Please join Mayor Joe Curtatone, the Somerville Arts Council, The Welcome Project, and Somerville Photographer Randi Freundlich for an exhibit of her ongoing series Children of the World. Twenty-eight color photographs are on exhibit at Somerville City Hall, at 93 Highland Avenue in Somerville, through June 2017. A public reception will be held on May 4, 5:00 – 7:00 pm. Freuindlich’s exhibit is on display in Somerville City Hall through a Somerville Arts Council grant.
Randi Freundlich has been making portraits of children from immigrant families since 2010. Children of the World is a story about children of immigrant families, each from a different country, who live in the Boston area. To date, 55 different countries (and families) are part of the series, including El Salvador, Tibet, Haiti, Sudan and Israel. According to Susan Merritt, former Art Consultant at the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, “Children of the World is an extraordinary body of work. Randi Freundlich's exhibit allows visitors an up close and personal look at children who share a collective story bestowed upon them by parents, who were not born in America. [It’s] a story of hope, sacrifice and love that is revealed in the expressions of their children”.
The photographs reveal a deeply moving tableau everyone can identify with, as kids are just being kids -- a window of hope into the future of our city. In Freundlich’s words: “I met immigrant families every day as a social worker. I learned about their experiences living in the U.S. I am moved by the joys and struggles of the families who are navigating life in a new country on top of the complex challenges that all parents face. Their stories were poignant, even funny at times. The stories are included in the series. I ask the families to talk about their identities as immigrants. ‘How do you hold on to the culture of your home country, the language and customs? What does it mean to be American?’ One 4 year-old girl replied, ‘I’m Mexican AND Bostonian!’ A 12 year-old boy said, ‘I was born in America, but my parents are from the Caribbean… ‘American’ is just a label… my blood is from Dominica.’”
Through a grant from the Somerville Arts Council, Randi worked with The Welcome Project, an organization providing education and advocacy with Somerville’s immigrant community. Randi taught photography to youth attending the youth program. They explored their identities and cultures and made photographs to share with the community. Their photos are included in this exhibit.
Randi Freundlich is a photographer and social worker. She received her BFA in Photography from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Boston University. The series has been exhibited in and around Boston. A resident of Somerville, she is fortunate to combine her two passions through the Children of the World project!
Individuals with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication, written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures, in order to access the programs and activities of the City of Somerville or to attend meetings, should contact the Nancy Bacci, at 617-625-6600 x2250 or NBacci@somervillema.gov.