FARMINGTON — Durango's "Open Shutter Gallery" is holding an exhibit of the photographs and journals of Dan Eldon.

The exhibit started Friday and will run until March 28.

Eldon was a photojournalist for Reuters during the 1990s.

In 1991, a violent takeover forced a Somali dictator from power and threw the divided country into a bloody civil war. A year later, the U.N. stepped in.

Eldon was assigned to cover the Somalia intervention.

Brandon Donahue, who arranged the Open Shutter exhibit, said Eldon, in his early 20s at the time, was the youngest correspondent Reuters had hired.

Donahue said Eldon is one of his personal heroes and, while studying photography in college, Donahue collected the books Eldon wrote before he died.

On July 12, 1993, U.N. forces bombed a house that they believed belonged to Mohammed Farah Aidid, a Somali warlord. Eldon and three other journalists went to cover the scene.

Aidid's supporters were outraged by the attack and formed a mob. Eldon, 22, and the other journalists were stoned to death.

Eldon's mother and sister found a series of jounals in his belongings. In those journals, they found collages of clippings and found objects, such as snake skins and beads.

"I think it was kind of an outlet for him," Donahue said.

Donahue said Eldon experienced a lot of horrific scenes. By pasting images, texts and found items together in collage format, Donahue said he believes Eldon was able to balance his life.


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A lot of the images incorporate the world he saw guns and violence.

The Open Shutter exhibit will feature both his war photography and his journals, Donahue said.

The exhibit is connected to the Creative Visions Foundation, which was founded by Eldon's mother and sister after Eldon's death. The foundation promotes the use of media and art to create change in the world.

The Open Shutter Gallery is located at 735 Main Ave. in Durango. It is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Sundays.

The gallery has a variety of photography books and cards for sale. A portion of the proceeds is donated to charitable causes. The gallery also offers various workshops throughout the year. For more information, call (970) 382- 8355 or visit the web site www.openshuttergallery.com.