2017 was a turning point in my life, I got clarity on what my mission is on this storytelling journey. I'm meant to teach. I also found that it comes with a lot of responsibility and in order to teach, I must first learn. How do I build bridges and break down the walls of colonization through storytelling? I think it will happen by working together through radical collaborations, challenging the pre-fabricated systems in place, and creating conversations about realistic solutions. One thing that stayed with me throughout the year is the idea of preventive storytelling as opposed to reactive. I'm still trying to better understand how I might implement this in my work as it is growing roots within me. The reality is the photo, film, and art industry are colonized. By that, I mean that we have been telling the story of humanity from a colonizer perspective and I believe these are the times to change it. These are also the times of reconciliation and healing so that we can move forward and decolonize the media.
This recap reflects some of my favorite work of 2017. We are Standing Strong entering 2018.
Directing + Editing // Nahko • Love Letters to God
Photography // Buzzfeed • Documenting the last stand at Oceti Sakowin Camp
Photography // YES! Magazine • Sanctuary City
Fellowship // Magnum Foundation • Photography and Social Justice Fellowship
Presentation // TEDx Rapid City • The Power of Telling Your Own Story
Photography + Writing // YES! Magazine • Water Protectors Return to Standing Rock—This Time for Healing
Lecture // Earth Systems Program • Stanford University
Directing + Cinematographer + Editing // Nahko • Be Here Now
Thank you for supporting my work in 2017. I hope to bring you more stories and art from the perspective of indigenous peoples. I would also like to invite you to follow my long-term multimedia project Standing Strong Project. I will be releasing the website and first chapter early 2018.
What are your goals for 2018? Leave me a comment below.