‘to be determined’ presents Displaced: Photos by Maranie Staab

By April 25, 2017Blog

“Displaced: Photos by Maranie Staab” is presented during the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival as part of Riverlife’s ‘to be determined’ series.

‘to be determined’ was developed by Riverlife in 2015 to highlight the potential of the underutilized space along the Allegheny River under the Fort Duquesne Bridge on-ramp between Point State Park and the Cultural District.

From the artist:

We live in a world where nearly 34,000 people are forcibly displaced every day as a result of conflict, persecution and environmental factors.

We also live in a world where these populations have largely become anonymous numbers and statistics — they have become a nameless, faceless and dehumanized “other.”

In 2017 the UNHCR announced that there are more than 65 million displaced persons in the world — more than at any other time in history. Of that number, more than 20 million are refugees, half of whom are under the age of 18. There are also 10 million stateless people who have been denied a nationality and access to basic rights such as education, healthcare, employment and freedom of movement.

The aspiration of this project is ask that the viewer take a moment to recognize our shared humanity, to put a name and a face with someone who has been forced from their home. It is to ask the viewer, for just a moment, to consider what they might do to protect their family, their children and their own future if given the stark choice between remaining in an impossible existence or fleeing towards a very uncertain future.

Pittsburgh is a city of immigrants. The three rivers shaped this city; they also shaped the people who settled here and used the rivers for industry, travel and trade. Constantly in a state of transition, Pittsburgh’s riverfronts reflect how these humans made their mark on the natural landscape of the river valleys. The unfinished space under the Fort Duquesne Bridge reflects this push and pull of settlement and departure. This sense of transition made the ‘to be determined’ space an appropriate outdoor setting for the ‘Displaced’ photos.

“Displaced: Photos by Maranie Staab” opens on June 2, 2017 during the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival and is on view through September. The exhibit is free and open to the public.