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professor Leah Bedrosian Peterson’s project Erasure
was published in the spring 2013 edition of the German magazine Heritage of Our World, which is
distributed with National Geographic in
Germany to more than 100,000 subscribers.
professor of digital media, was invited to give classes to Westerners visiting
the remote mountain regions of Southeast Asia through a photojournalist friend
in the summer of 2010. She spent two months traveling through Cambodia, Laos and
Vietnam, which resulted in Erasure,
a portfolio of photographs, drawings and videos documenting the culture and
heritage of the villages and cities of the region. The title, Erasure, references the changes in the
local traditional culture and the changes to the landscape as these third-world
nations are being influenced by Western culture.
A drawing of one
of her photographs was awarded the first place, best in show honor at the Park
Art Fair International 2012 in Geneva, Switzerland. There also are plans for Erasure to be exhibited and screened in
France later this year.
service work in an orphanage in Cambodia and teaching English and art to the children, one young girl saw that I did not have a treat so
she offered to give me hers – this
was significant because she barely had any food to eat that day,” Peterson
said. “Consideration of others and sharing seems to be an inherent part of the
culture. I try to remind myself of those experiences so that I can be a more compassionate person.”
Some of Peterson’s
most profound experiences took place in the mountains of Laos, in sparsely
populated regions where small children run around naked and girls as young as 5
or 6 carry their baby brothers or sisters around in slings.
hill tribe people of Laos are thought of as the lowest class in the country and
don’t receive governmental support, making their region significantly underdeveloped,”
Peterson said. “I was struck by the fact that the entire village, the mud, the
earth, the houses, the clothing, was overwhelmingly one color – brown. This
single palette seemed to signify the simplicity of their lives.”
said she is excited that her work will get distributed to a larger audience via
National Geographic. She continues to show Erasure
in various stages, including recent installations in Chicago and New Jersey.
ultimate goal would be to take a group of Lycoming students on a trip to
Southeast Asia. “It would be a great opportunity for the students,” she said.
“It is an experience; it’s not like going on vacation. Your comfort level is
the magazine will be distributed in Germany, Peterson has requested several
copies and will have one available on reserve at the Snowden Library on campus.
teaches video and theory classes at Lycoming. She studied photography at Pratt
Institute, Brooklyn, N.Y., where she earned a BFA. She earned an MFA from Tufts
University/The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Mass. Her work deals
with issues of cultural identity and questions the role of fantasy in our daily
lives. Peterson exhibits her work both nationally and internationally.
Lycoming College is a four-year,
residential liberal arts and sciences school dedicated to the undergraduate
education of 1,400 students. Its rigorous academic program, vibrant residential
community and supportive faculty foster successful student outcomes. Lycoming
offers 36 academic majors and is recognized as a Tier 1 institution by U.S.
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Susquehanna River in Williamsport, Pa., Lycoming is one of the 50 oldest
colleges in the nation. For more information, visit www.lycoming.edu.