Dene Nahjo founding member Tania Larsson is featured on the cover of Narrative Witness 2: Indigenous Peoples, Australia-United States, an online collection of writing and photography published by the International Writing Program.
The photo by Kali Spitzer (Kaska Dena/Jewish artist from the Yukon) features Larsson adorned in traditional Gwich’in jewelry reclaimed through her art and research at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, where she and Spitzer study.
The portrait of Larsson is part of a larger photo essay by Spitzer titled ‘An Exploration of Resilience,’ featuring portraits of Indigenous women. Those photos include fellow Dene Nahjo founding member Melaw Nakehk’o, a Dene artist, mother and actor.
“Many of our relatives were and continue to be inappropriately photographed and misrepresented,” Spitzer writes in her artist statement. “I am working to redress this from behind and in front of the lens by creating images of contemporary indigenous people from an indigenous perspective. Through the timeless lens of the tintype, and in collaboration with my subjects, the relationship between the process of creation and the person being photographed is made manifest.”
Check out Spitzer’s full photo collection and artist statement here.
The International Writing Program summarizes the new collection on its website:
“In fall 2015, 32 indigenous writers and photographers living in Australia and the United States came together in an online exchange to create fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and photography centred on the theme of ‘narrative witness.’ Led by writing and photography workshop facilitators, the group workshopped their photo essays and texts online over the course of two months.”