Meet Your Neighbors at the Second Annual World Refugee Day at MOPA

Release Date: 
May 15, 2012

(San Diego, CA) May 15, 2012 - The Museum of Photographic Arts is proud to host the second annual World Refugee Day on June 16, in collaboration with the San Diego Refugee Forum and USA for United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). The event will turn a spotlight on the plight of refugees, while celebrating the culture and diversity of San Diego’s vibrant refugee community through conversation, food, music and film.

Quick Facts:

  • There are over 43.7 million displaced people in the world, of which, an estimated 15.4 million are refugees. Less than %1 of all refugees are resettled to a third country. The United States welcomes more than half of these refugees. San Diego is the refugee capital of the United States.
  • San Diego is a fitting location to celebrate this globally-recognized day for refugees, as it is home to highest population of resettled refugees in the United States. The event is free and open to public and will also include complimentary admission to the Museum’s galleries.

Visitors will have the opportunity to share stories of resettlement, sample food from other cultures and discover the contributions of San Diego’s vibrant refugee communities, while also meeting representatives from the region’s refugee-serving organizations. Get inspired to meet your neighbor:

Schedule of Events:

  • 3:00 – 6:00 pm: Conversations with artists: El Cajon-based rapper Timz, filmmaker Cy Kuckenbacher and photographer Joshua Seale, followed by a panel discussion
  • 6:00 – 7:00 pm: Reception featuring music and food from refugee-owned local businesses and performances
  • 7:00 pm: Screening of the 2007 film, The Kite Runner. Please reserve a seat for the screening at


Participating Artists

  • Joshua Seale:Joshua and Nathalie Seale are a husband and wife team who are passionate about telling the stories of refugees from around the world. They have worked with refugees in the Middle East, Central Africa, and Southern California.  Through photography and writing, they have sought to tell stories that inspire and that give dignity to people who have been uprooted due to conflict and who are seeking a better life elsewhere. Having worked with Iraqi refugees in both San Diego and Beirut, Lebanon, they have captured glimpses of the often two to three journeys that these refugees take from leaving Iraq to immigrating to cities such as El Cajon, CA. Their work can be found at:
  • Cy Kuckenbacker:Cy Kuckenbaker was the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship for filmmaking in 2004 and was a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Lithuania from 2000-02. He received his MFA in filmmaking from the California Institute of the Arts. His film The Orphans premiered at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 2006 and went on to screen at the Pompidou in Paris, the Los Angeles Int., Calgary Int., Edmonton Int., and the Viennale film festivals. He financed his first feature film Bush League by working for the U.S. State Dept in Iraq for 21 months. Filmed in Malawi, Africa Bush League premiered in 2010 at the Vancouver Int Film Fest and won Best Doc Feature at the New Jersey Int Film Fest in 2011. His doc short INDENTURED screened at several human rights film festivals in 2010 and 2011 and screened for the House Armed Services Committee in the U.S. Congress and at the U.S. Pentagon. Cy is currently a community college professor in San Diego, CA.
  • Timz:Headline-making Hip-Hop artist Timz ( landed world-wide media interest with the single and video titled Iraq, from his first album, Open for Business. Shedding light on the destruction of his ancestral homeland, the American-born rapper of Assyrian/Chaldean and Iraqi descent shared his insights with the international news media. Timz has once again captured the world’s attention with his latest eye-opening music video, Refugee. The newest effort reminds the world of the Iraq war’s continuing and often unnoticed victims of the war – Iraqi refugees. Nearly five million Iraqis have been displaced from their homes since 2003 due to persecution and violence. Timz’s Refugee captures the heart-wrenching stories of three individual refugees who were forced to flee Iraq and now attempting to rebuild their lives in America.


Press Opportunities: To request high-resolution images, additional information or to schedule an interview, please contact Kristine Page at 619.238.7559 X203 or via email (

MOPA Information: MOPA is a center for visual learning, passionately dedicated to sharing and exploring the universal language of photography. Learn more at


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