Photography as Memoir

"In the United States, the moment of the immigrant's arrival is a mythic moment," said DuBois. "Most people don't have an image of that moment. The U.S. had agreed to take an entire tribe that was especially at risk -- the Bantu -- and Syracuse has taken three hundred or so."

DuBois had support in this project from Daoud Achmed, who works for Catholic Charities refugee resettlement project on Park Street and came to last week's event with several other Somalis. The project expanded when he took DuBois to Central Village housing project on the South Side, where many of the group has settled, and also to the Boys & Girls Club on Van Buren Street. These images range from the Somali community's soccer team to the Muslim calling to prayer performed five times daily in the neighborhood.

Some of DuBois' images are painstakingly constructed and others taken very much spontaneously. He said that he photographed more quickly with the Ireland pictures than ever before. In discussing one image from the book -- a pack of toy dinosaurs belonging to his nephew advance across a bedroom floor before an open window with sheer curtains -- he recounted the hours of staging an image can take.

"Then I was so frustrated I only took one shot," he said. "You never do that! But I don't consider the spontaneous ones any more or less beautiful than the ones I entirely construct."

Doug DuBois' photobook "All the Days and Nights" is available at Light Work Gallery, SU Book Store and online. Light Work is also offering a limited edition print of an image from the book. Read this and other arts and entertainment coverage from Eagle Newspapers at cnylink.com -- click A&E. Nancy covers the arts. Reach her at nancykeeferhodes@gmail.com.

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