Witness, a 9/11 retrospective at the Art Theater of Long Beach

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On a cloudy fall day in New York City photographer Yasmin Etemadi noticed a large red pick-up truck parked on the street. The sticker on the rear bumper read: “Special Issue, USA, Permit No. 091101, Terrorist Hunting Permit, No Bag Limit, and Tagging Not Required”.

She stared at the truck in disbelief and photographed a few quick frames, feeling anxious that at any moment the owner of the car would show up. This moment in October 2004 marked the starting point of her documentary photo project WITNESS, a collection of black and white photographs taken in New York and California from 2004 to 2009.

America has not been the same since September 11, 2001. As an Iranian-American Etemadi has found herself a stranger in her own home. This sense of displacement, coupled with drastic political changes and military conflicts, has raised questions of stability for many immigrants. This body of work is a reflection of this examination and an attempt to re-define herself as an Iranian-American. Her photographs capture these fleeting moments of history, marking them as permanent and fixed icons.

The public is invited to view this photographic exhibition at the historic Art Theater of Long Beach 2025 4th Street, Long Beach, CA.. An artist’s reception will be held on Sunday, September 11, from 5-6 pm. The exhibition runs from Saturday, August 27 through Friday, September 30.

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