South Sudanese Enrichment for Families

Metamorphisis: From South Sudan to America in Art & Word

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Cultural Outreach Program - Metamorphosis: From South Sudan to America in Art & Word


What is it to be a refugee to America and start life anew?  Come explore these questions and more at the exhibit “Metamorphosis: From South Sudan to America in Art & Word”

The Art

The paintings in this exhibit are from the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya where most of the Lost Boys and Lost Girls lived before coming to America. Atem Alue (a Lost Boy himself) went back to Kakuma each summer to give workshops on painting to refugees living there. SSEF bought 35 of the paintings from these workshops which we present here in tandem with photographs by SSEF board member, Ellen Morgan. SSEF has had little contact with the artists—many have left the refugee camp and have moved all over the world. Atem Alue currently lives in Salt Lake City with his wife and family. Ellen Morgan has documented the Massachusetts South Sudanese community for 18 years by camera. She has traveled with local South Sudanese to their homeland twice and captured images of life there as well.

The Context

This exhibit is presented by South Sudanese Enrichment for Families, a nonprofit whole-family resource dedicated to working with South Sudanese people who have resettled in Massachusetts.  The South Sudanese population comprises one of the largest groups of refugees to have come to this country without parents. In 2000–2001, of the 4000  “Lost Boys of Sudan” who came to the US, 150 resettled in Boston.

In 2000, a group of Lincoln residents and David Chanoff (a volunteer whose son worked with the Lost Boys in Kakuma) got together to support these young refugees by defraying the cost of tuition, buying them computers, and providing mentoring and resources.  Incorporated formally in 2004, SSEF (formerly the Sudanese Education Fund) grew out of a community-based response to the needs of these newcomers to America. Between trauma from war, loss, violence, and displacement, separation from family, and culture shock, SSEF had much to do for these young people. This exhibit will show you where The Lost Boys and Lost Girls came from and where they are now—truly a metamorphosis.

The Audio Tour

There is a strong oral history tradition in South Sudanese culture. Audio clips by Boston-area South Sudanese community members are presented in tandem with these works of art reflecting these cultural roots.

Audio Tour: Library (Sept 2018)

Audio Tour: Bemis Hall (Sept 2018)

Curated by: Jeff Brown, Ellen Morgan, Robin Boylen and Susan Winship

Past Exhibitions

Metamorphosis: From South Sudan to Massachusetts
Lincoln Public Library
September 1- 30, 2018
At the Lincoln Public Library there was a visual and audio art exhibit on the South Sudanese in Massachusetts exploring changes they have gone through since arriving in America: A real metamorphosis.

Metamorphosis: From South Sudan to Lincoln & Beyond
COA/Bemis Hall - 
September 1- 30, 2018
Do you ever wonder what happened to the three young men from South Sudan who were resettled in Lincoln in the early 2000’s? The art exhibit at COA/Bemis shared what they went through, what changes they have experienced, and where they are now! Which other South Sudanese have lived in Lincoln? Migration stories were told through original paintings paired with photographs and audio clips.

Upcoming exhibit at the Concord Public Library: December 2018

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