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Photography Project Shines A Light On (And Within) Boise’s Refugee Population

Angie Smith
Photographer Angie Smith has captured the stories of Boise refugees like Khamisa and her family. The photos are part of a larger project the artist plans to display in downtown this fall.

Los Angeles-based photographer Angie Smith first became curious about Idaho’s refugee population five years ago during visits with her family in Boise.

“I wondered why are they coming to Idaho," says Smith, "how do they get here, what are their lives like once they have arrived and are in the resettlement process. I just had a lot of questions.”

Smith has been photographing and interviewing refugees for more than a year, funded by a grant from Boise’s arts and history department. Before the project – called “Stronger Shines the Light Inside,” she says her experience with refugees was limited to seeing them at the grocery store or the bus stop. Smith wants to inspire people to go behind these moments, and bridge the gap between refugees and the rest of the community.

“If someone just reads one story and looks at one photograph, they can walk away feeling like they understand more about what it is to be a refugee.”

Today, the photographer launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the rest of the project. Smith plans to exhibit the photos at outdoor locations around Boise in the fall.

Find Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

Copyright 2016 Boise State Public Radio

Frankie Barnhill was the Senior Producer of Idaho Matters, Boise State Public Radio's daily show and podcast.

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