Recognizing the Refugees of Lancaster Pennsylvania
The photo document “Where Hope Finds Home” honors refugees from around the world who have resettled in Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County. This region has a proud, centuries-old tradition as a welcoming community for refugees, beginning in the 17th century with groups like the Amish, Quakers, and Huguenots, who fled religious and political persecution in Europe. Today, including displaced people, there are 60 million refugees worldwide—a number that is growing dramatically. Half are children. Each year, only a small fraction of refugees will be resettled.
In Lancaster, over 60 area refugees representing 19 countries agreed to be photographed and to tell their stories for Where Hope Finds Home to photographer/writer Kristin V. Rehder and her colleague Amer Alfayadh. The participants in this project are legal immigrants who have passed rigorous entrance requirements to come to the United States. They were forced from their homelands and encampments because of a well-documented fear of persecution due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.
Working within the tradition of social-activist photography, Rehder takes color portraits of her subjects looking directly into the camera. She photographs in natural light in her subjects’ home environments. A resident of Lancaster, Rehder is representing a community of which she is a member.
Rehder’s images and texts ask certain questions: Where have these refugees come from, why, and what skills and expectations do they bring to the Lancaster community? Is Lancaster a stronger community for their presence? Does encountering someone eye-to-eye through
photographic portraits and biographies make us more likely to want to know these individuals and work together for the future of our community and the well-being of all of its citizens?
Kristin V. Rehder
Friday, June 3 – Through the end of June
Gallery Location & Hours
220 North Prince Street
Lancaster, PA 17601
Mon-Fri 10 am – 6 pm
Extended hours on First Fridays 10am-9pm
A documentary photographer and writer, Lancaster resident Kristin Rehder explores concepts of community in places where she lives. Her latest project, Where Hope Finds Home, is a photo documentary of refugees resettled in Lancaster from 19 countries. Kristin developed a specific methodology for her work while completing a master’s in liberal studies at Skidmore College with concentration in the cultural history of photography. Her first project, The Way to Wanakena, focused on a small Adirondacks hamlet in Upstate New York. Rehder is a native of Wilmington, N.C.
“Through her intense, yet gentle photographs and text, Kristin Rehder adroitly captures her subjects and their inner lives, while showing the human diversity of the communities she studies.” —Mary Warner Marien, author of the acclaimed Photography: A Cultural History