Moving Walls 10

Topics in Moving Walls 10 include U.S. soldiers wounded in Iraq; forced servitude in Haiti; injection drug use in Russia and Ukraine; mistreatment of the mentally ill and the developmentally disabled in public institutions; daily life in Cuba; and fatherhood in the U.S.

Four people seen through a bent chainlink fence.
Moving Walls 10
Eugene Richards
A father in a car feeds a child and holds another.
Moving Walls 10
Stephen Shames
A man against a green wall with flowers.
Moving Walls 10
Alex Webb
A women fixing a child’s hair.
Moving Walls 10
Gigi Cohen
Soldier with prosthetic arm in front of a tree.
Moving Walls 10
Nina Berman
Two men preparing a syringe.
Moving Walls 10
John Ranard

About Moving Walls 10

The tenth exhibition of Moving Walls opens as the war in Iraq continues to capture headlines and roil a divided public. Lost in the clamor, however, are stories that may fail to command immediate attention. Moving Walls seeks to compensate for this imbalance. Covering subjects ranging from wounded veterans to the HIV epidemic in Russia and Ukraine, the six photographers in our tenth show provide insight into issues that are all too often overlooked. 

The names of the American soldiers who have been killed in Iraq are printed in the newspaper almost every day, but the wounded are often sent home without notice, left to struggle quietly with a loss of limb or painful disfigurement. By showing us the human cost of war on an intimate scale, Nina Berman’s portraits of injured American soldiers undermine any illusion that war is quick and bloodless. Gigi Cohen’s images of a young Haitian girl living in forced servitude also personalize an issue of much larger scope. In telling the story of Josiméne, Cohen’s photographs bring into focus the problem of illegal child labor practices around the world.

As always, Moving Walls challenges us to confront issues we may purposely ignore. But, as the photographs make clear, such indifference can often have devastating consequences. John Ranard’s images of injection drug users in Russia and Ukraine, many of whom are teenagers, give attention to the burgeoning HIV epidemic in a region that has so far done little to stop it. Likewise, Eugene Richards shows us the cruelty and mistreatment that the mentally ill and the developmentally disabled suffer with his photographs of public psychiatric institutions. Deprived of proper medical care, counseling, and education, residents stand little chance of living productively within these facilities. 

Other photographers challenge our preconceptions. Cuba may lie only a hundred miles away from U.S. shores, but for many Americans it remains a place of myth. Alex Webb captures the paradox of daily life in this island nation, where the past continues to shape an uncertain future. Stephen Shames counters the stereotype of low-income fathers as dead-beat dads. Enrolled in parenting programs that provide them with job skills and self-esteem, the men in his photographs play an active role in their children’s lives. 

Moving Walls is an annual exhibition series that explores a variety of social justice and human rights issues through documentary practice, and is produced by Open Society’s Culture and Art program. Moving Walls is exhibited at our offices in New York, London, and Washington, D.C., and includes five to nine discrete bodies of work.

Since 1998, Moving Walls has featured over 200 photographers and artists whose works address a variety of social justice and human rights issues.

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Due to precautionary measures related to the coronavirus, Moving Walls 25: Another Way Home will be closed until further notice.