Striking images by Swedish photographer Magnus Wennman are making an impact at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.
The museum, in Skokie, Illinois, is featuring "Where The Children Sleep," through Sept. 16. "Where The Children Sleep" showcases the plight of Syrian refugee children throughout the Middle East and Europe.
"The project was put together by Magnus Wennman and his collaborator, Carina Bergfeldt," said Arielle Weininger, chief curator for The Illinois Holocaust Museum. Bergfeldt wrote the text for the photo exhibit.
Weininger said Wenman and Bergfeldt work with a Swedish newspaper in Stockholm and both had worked in "conflict zones." They wanted to turn the spotlight on the difficult lives of the refugee children in the Syrian War conflict.
Focusing on the children and where they lay their heads at night or seek shelter made for an impactful story and gave a different (and necessary) account of the war.
The exhibit was done in collaboration with the UN Refugee Agency, which is UNHCR in Sweden and Fotografiska, The Swedish Museum of Photography. The hashtag I Care is associated with the exhibit, Weininger said, adding that Wennman felt defeated during early conversations about the exhibit and was using #WhoCares. Changing it to #ICare was a response to those early conversations.
Weininger said there's an exhibit traveling in Europe in addition to one in the United States. She explained the whole purpose of the show is to broaden awareness of the problem and bring more attention to what the helpless children are going through.
"We're pleased and honored to present this exhibition," Weininger said. The museum curator began talking with UNHCR about the photo exhibit and bringing it to the Skokie museum in 2015.
"I said when I was presenting (the idea) for the exhibit to my colleagues, that if by this point in time the Syrian crisis would be resolved (the exhibit) would be a look back. But the crisis is still ongoing," Weininger said.
The entire exhibit is made up of more than 20 photos. Each photo has a story accompanying it. A film also is featured.
FYI: "Where The Children Sleep" photo exhibit continues to Sept. 16 at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, 9603 Woods Drive, Skokie, Illinois. Call 847-967-4800 or visit ilholocaustmuseum.org.