May 2, 2009

The Texas Pioneer Adventure Is Closed

The Iraqi refugee dips her head. Her child — in the Winnie the Pooh hat — clutches to her. The trees block a wide marine vista. The Texas flag doubles back on itself. The wagon ride is that way. The sign on the chain reads: “The Texas Pioneer Adventure is closed.”

This photo, taken by contributor Nina Berman, shows an Iraqi immigrant on a group visit, with other Iraqi women, to a park and arboretum in Texas. It does not specifically show discouragement or exclusion. It does not specifically demonstrate Iraqi refugees coming to the U.S. in a pioneering spirit and being effectively denied access to our culture, history and pastimes.

Still, given the dire circumstances Iraqi immigrants are facing here in the U.S., this is effectively true — the image, in fact, juxtaposing this hokey monument to the pioneer spirit with an Iraqi struggling with the recession, local indifference and limited if any support from the U.S. to help establish herself “in the homeland.”

I recommend you go over Alternet to read Nina’s report on Iraqi refugees in Dallas, and to see her accompanying slide show.

(image: Nina Berman, Dallas, TX. 2009)

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Nina Berman
See other posts by Nina here.

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