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January 25, 2007

Our People, Our Land, Our Images:International Indigenous Photography

Mar. 3 – May 28, 2007

SeattleAugmenting the Burke Museum’s landmark exhibit, In the Spirit of the Ancestors: Contemporary Northwest Coast Art, is the international Indigenous photography show, Our People, Our Land, Our Images, on view Mar. 3 – May 28, 2007.

Our People, Our Land, Our Images celebrates the thriving work of 26 Indigenous photographers from throughout the US, Canada, Peru and New Zealand. The earliest pieces in the exhibition are those of a Cherokee photographer, Jennie Ross Cobb from 1902 in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. She is the earliest-known female Native American photographer, and her works raise critical distinctions between those photographing their own communities from the inside, with familiarity and respect, and other non-Natives photographing at this time on behalf of the government, expansionism, or academic research.

Inspired and influenced by the resilience and sense of ownership reflected in the works of such early Indigenous photographers, the contemporary artists exhibited in Our People, Our Land, Our Images represent a diversity of technologies, subject matter, vision and style. Yet their artworks all resonate together by the ties to their own communities. “Like those photographers before them, they demonstrate the ownership and authority to image from within,” says Veronica Passalacqua, curator of the exhibit.

Together, the photographs of Our People, Our Land, Our Images, and the objects of In the Spirit of the Ancestors represent the stories of Native peoples as told by Native peoples. Dr. Robin K. Wright, curator of Native American art at the Burke Museum, comments that, “Werecognize that works of great artistry and innovation are being created today by contemporary Native artists. These exhibitswill bring this living art to the public, engendering a greater awareness of the people, the artistry, and cultures, past and present, that it represents.”

Our People, Our Land, Our Images was organized by the CN Gorman Museum at the University of California, Davis.

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