For Immediate Release

February 14, 2007

New York, NY – Spc. Alan Jermaine Lewis lost both of his legs when his humvee hit a landmine in Iraq.  Spc. Luis Calderon was paralyzed from the neck down when a concrete wall with the image of Saddam Hussein that he was ordered to destroy collapsed on him.  These are images of wounded American soldiers from Iraq captured by documentary photographer Nina Berman in an exhibit now on display at the Columbia University School of Social Work (CUSSW).

Entitled “Purple Hearts: Back from Iraq,” Berman’s portraits seek to provide an understanding of the human cost of war through the experience of wounded veterans.  At a time when the daily realities of war are obscured, she utilizes her work to remind communities of the physical and psychological problems endured by returning American soldiers.  Sponsored by the Open Society Institute “Moving Walls” initiative, the photographs are currently displayed on the fourth floor at the School of Social Work Building (1255 Amsterdam Avenue).  The exhibit is open to the public, Monday through Friday from 10:00am-3:00pm.

Berman will also be participating in an upcoming panel discussion at CUSSW on March 7, 2007.  Joining the panel is Tod Ensign, an attorney and the director of Citizen Soldier, and writer and producer Julie Winokur, who is moderating.  The forum is sponsored by CUSSW, the Open Society Institute, and the New York Foundation for the Arts to explore how photography can be used to shape public policy and perception and to effect social change.  

For more information about the exhibit or forum event, please contact Jeannie Hii at 212-851-2327 or jy2223@columbia.edu. Alternatively, you can visit the CUSSW Wednesday Series site at:  http://www.columbia.edu/cu/ssw/wedseries/

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