Our World at War

Up a flight of stairs from the kid-filled, cheerful food court in Center House, you can visit very different circumstances in Congo, Afghanistan, Haiti, Liberia, and other countries divided by war and violence. The 40 photos on view are powerful enough to make the companion text and slogans redundant. However, Seattle Red Cross can be excused for using the show to solicit volunteers and donors. Though heavyweights like James Nachtwey have contributed work, there are no combat scenes or explicitly violent images. Rather, the emphasis is on the aftermath to conflict--limbs lost to landmines, refugees, disease, hunger, hospitals, food relief, and so forth. Those are the areas the Red Cross serves, of course, and there are plenty of pamphlets on hand to gather more information (or donate funds). The show is a guilt trip, and perhaps a necessary one. And it's incongruous to then descend back into the well-fed family bustle below, where these images might be more usefully displayed. BRIAN MILLER

June 26-Aug. 15, 9 a.m.-9 p.m., 2010

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