Yale Hosts DDFR-themed Exhibit: “Turning Strangers into Family”


(l to r) Aaron Peirano Garrison, Professor Laura Wexler, Thomas Allen Harris

The opening reception of Digital Diaspora Family Reunion‘s interactive exhibition was held at the Gallery at the Whitney Humanities Center at Yale University last Monday. This exhibition is designed to encourage people to engage with their own family photographic archives – a central focus and the mission of DDFR.

Turning strangers into family

Exhibit piece by Yale Student Aaron Peirano Garrison (top center) and his daughter Eden Garrison (r). Former Police Officer Jeffrey Fletcher (bottom center) and his daughter, Victoria Fletcher (l).


(l to r) Opening remarks by WHC Deputy Director Mark Bauer, Thomas Allen Harris and WHC Director Gary Tomlinson

Under the title of “Turning Strangers into Family“, the exhibition features large printed images with text by the subjects who shared their stories and family albums with DDFR in cities across the U.S. and the world.

The exhibition coincides with an interdisciplinary course that Thomas Allen Harris is teaching this fall in the Yale School of Art entitled “Strategies of Visual Memoir in Art Practice,”__a studio-based class that explores the use of archives in constructing real and fictive narratives across a variety of disciplines. Students in Harris’ course are taking turns to co-curate portions of the exhibit working together with the Yale and New Haven communities. Yale student Aaron Peirano Garrison was first up to remix the exhibition using large scale photographic portraits and text to virtually introduce his daughter and the daughter of the subject of his documentary, former African American police officer, Jeffrey Fletcher.

turning_strangers_to_family_yale_4Every two weeks, another student in Harris’ class will remix the exhibition using photos, text and objects.  Harris hopes that this  evolving curatorial process of “Turning Strangers Into Family” will help further his idea of creating crossroads spaces where people from different backgrounds are brought together to celebrate their shared humanity. We are happy to be sharing with Yale and New Haven, this new iteration of the Digital Diaspora Family Reunion project.

If you would like to submit a photo and story for inclusion in the show, please email it to: 1World1Family.me@gmail.com.  If you are in the area or passing through, please don’t want to miss the chance to see this exhibition as it unfolds in the Gallery at the Whitney,  53 Wall Street, New Haven, CT 06520-8298   t (203) 432-0670




(l to r) Producer Don Perry, filmmaker Lindsey Seide, Director Thomas Allen Harris, Professor Azusa Nishimoto, and media assistant Yeonkyeong Kim.

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