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Hero City, documentary photography exhibit, part of the D80 Conference, opens in the Rozsa Gallery

HOUGHTON – The Department of Visual and Performing Arts, the Rozsa Center, and Pavlis Honors College are excited to announce the fall gallery exhibition, Hero City: Documentary Photography by Meghan Kirkwood. The exhibit features a collection of silver gelatin and inkjet photographs of modern Mongolia. The images capture the unique and storied history of Mongolia’s capital city, Ulaanbaatar, its transition through economic and cultural change – and the rich and thriving culture that animates this young Asian nation. This exhibit is presented in collaboration with Michigan Tech’s Pavlis Honors College and the D80 Conference, where Kirkwood will give the keynote address.

The title “Hero City,” refers to the chosen name for this urban center before pressure from Soviet activists led to its renaming, Ulaanbaatar (City of the Red Hero). Mongolia’s history is long and complex, and most recently marked by its transition from communism to democracy following the fall of the Soviet Union. This transition was guided by international agencies such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the Asian Development Fund, but the nation’s swift entry into a market economy has brought many challenges for its citizens, in spite of optimism from outside economists who view the country as a “global growth generating” nation. Mongolia offers a prescient look at the disconnect between prescriptive policies and the cultural and political realities that limit their success. Kirkwood’s images seek to capture these tensions, and to draw attention to Mongolia’s vibrant culture.

Meghan Kirkwood is an Assistant Professor at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. Her photography has been exhibited throughout the United States, Europe, and South Africa. She holds an MFA in Photography from Tulane University, and a PhD in Art History from the University of Kansas. Learn more about Kirkwood at www.meghankirkwood.com.

The exhibit will run from Monday, Sept. 28 through Saturday, Nov. 14. Works of art are also hung in several campus buildings and can be seen through a self- guided walking tour. Gallery hours are: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m to 8 p.m., and 1 to 8 p.m. on Saturdays. Walking tour hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Kirkwood will give her online D80 keynote address on Friday, Oct. 8, at noon, and an online gallery talk on Saturday Oct. 3 at 5 p.m. Tour map, Zoom links, and more details to all related Hero City and D80 Conference events can be found on the Rozsa Center website.

This program is partially funded/sponsored by the Visiting Professor Program which is funded by a grant to the Office of the Provost from the State of Michigan’s King- Chavez-Parks Initiative. Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. For the latest news and events, please join our Rozsa newsletter, check our website and Facebook page frequently, and stay informed as we announce new events each week.

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