We are forgetting so that we do not forget. Adopting the tools of the colonizer to resist being defined by the colonizers. We are living, but seeing ghosts. Landscape is a construction.Indigenous peoples have been construed by the colonizer as having an innate connection with nature, as if they are no more than a piece of the landscape in the mind of the colonizer. By projecting an aesthetic of indigeneity, the colonizer creates an indigenous other in order to conquer without introspection. Photography is used as an imperial tool to pillage the cultural heritage of indigenous peoples. The colonizers are perfectly happy to live on the site of a genocide, believing that language can purify even the most toxic pollution. The genocide, the pollution, the pillage, these will not be washed away through the power of language. These atrocities are here with us now. Indigenous people must reject any fake consolation and construct their own landscape and language to resist being defined by the colonizers.
Indigenous people are using contemporary technology to project to the world their own stories, culture and language. These Young and Indigenous individuals I have photographed are using a podcast to revive their Lummi language and culture. They and I are not using traditional Lummi mediums of cultural expression. Our use of contemporary technical supports is forgetting old mediums of cultural expression, yet we are ensuring our traditional cultures and languages are not forgotten. My photographs expose this process. By taking a single exposure with multiple projected images contained within, I draw attention to the concept of splitting and projection in the ongoing history of interactions between the colonizer and the colonized.
I have created photographs that remind the viewer that what they look at is a photograph, not a window. I have eschewed realism in depicting these individuals. The long exposures in these photographs gives the subjects a transparent, ghostly appearance. They are connecting with ghosts of the past and are leaving their own legacy.