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January 29, 2008

Photography Exhibit at Smith College to Benefit Landmine Victims

Exhibitor Stephen Petegorsky will speak about photographing landmine victims in Nicaragua and Honduras at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, at Neilson Library, an event organized by a Smith student who volunteered in a clinic for landmine victims during January break.

NORTHAMPTON, Mass.—A Smith student who volunteered at a Nicaraguan clinic for victims in January organized a photography exhibit that will be on display at Smith College Feb. 5 to March 23 in an effort to raise awareness about landmine victims in Central America and raise funding for their treatment.

“Step by Step: Photographs from Walking Unidos” by local artist Stephen Petegorsky will be on view in the Book Arts Gallery on the third floor of Neilson Library. In addition, Petegorsky will discuss his experience capturing the images at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, in the Neilson Library Browsing Room, with a reception following in the Book Arts Gallery. The talk, reception and exhibit are open to the public and free, however donations will be welcome.

About a decade ago, Petegorsky began using film to document the work of the members of the Polus Center for Social and Economic Development, an organization that supports programs for people with disabilities. As a result of the Polus Center’s efforts, the Walking Unidos Clinics opened in León, Nicaragua; Choluteca, Honduras; and in Managua, Nicaragua.

“I find myself wanting to go back as often as I can,” said Petegorsky. “It was very moving to see so many people with devastating injuries in a country that had recently seen a revolution and civil war—a country that was both beautiful and extremely poor.”

Smith senior Aubrey Menard organized Petegorsky’s exhibition after spending January break volunteering at the Walking Unidos Clinic in Nicaragua. Menard also formed the Smith Landmine Survivors Aid Organization, which is co-sponsoring the exhibit with the Polus Center for Social and Economic Development.

All funds generated by the exhibit and discussion will benefit landmine victims in coffee-growing communities, said Menard. Many coffee-producing countries are riddled with landmines, and the damage they cause affects large numbers of agricultural workers.


Maggie Emery, Polus Center for Social and Economic Development

Stephen Petegorsky, photographer

Aubrey Menard, Smith student and event organizer

Office of College Relations
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Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Marti Hobbes
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