Photography: “These Gorgeous Photographs Show Indigenous Americans Without the Stereotypes”

Posted on Updated on

These Gorgeous Photographs Show Indigenous Americans Without the Stereotypes
Three years ago, Matika Wilbur set out on an ambitious undertaking: a vast road trip across America to photograph members of all 562 of America’s federally-recognized tribes.

This article appears in Cities Are Now, the Winter 2015 issue of YES! Magazine.

72 Cities Cover

Images of Native Americans made by non-Natives have a problematic history. During the 19th and early 20th centu­ries, ethnographers often used photos to document and romanticize the last traces of the New World’s “dying cul­tures.” Native Americans survived, but the tradition lives on: Posed images and media stereotypes continue to reduce indigenous peoples to vessels for the American imagination.Photographer Matika Wilbur, a member of the Tulalip and Swinom­ish tribes, aims to change this. Three years ago, she set out on an ambitious undertaking, a vast road trip across America to photograph members of all 562 of America’s federally-recognized tribes. (That number is now 566.) The first part of this ongoing project was recently displayed in Wilbur’s first solo museum show, Photographic Pres­ence and Contemporary Indians: Matika Wilbur’s Project 562 at the Tacoma Art Museum in Tacoma, Wash. The show featured 40 portraits chosen from Wil­bur’s collection, which so far includes images from the more than 200 tribes she visited in the course of traveling 80,000 miles around the western United States. A fine art book series is also forthcoming from the University of Washington Press. Read More

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s