Tag Archives: photography

“Real NDNZ Re-Take Hollywood” challenges Hollywood’s Native American stereotyping

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Hollywood’s still growing in its discussions about diversity in entertainment, and one area the industry is lacking is multifaceted, unique, and contemporary portrayals of Native Americans. Indigenous multimedia documentarian Pamela Peters is aiming to push the conversation into overdrive with her photography exhibit, “Real NDNZ Re-Take Hollywood.”

The exhibit, which ran this August at These Days gallery in Los Angeles, featured Native actors and writers dressed as ’50s and ’60s star icons like Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face and Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway in Bonnie and Clyde.

To quote from the exhibit’s page:

REAL NDNZ RE-TAKE HOLLYWOOD showcases photographs from Diné photographer and filmmaker Pamela J. Peters, whose work seeks to disrupt and decolonize clichéd portrayals of Native Americans. This series “re-takes” and recreates classic, iconic portraits of movie stars of yesteryear by replacing those past film icons with contemporary Native American actors. Photographing “Real NDNZ” in the elegant clothes and iconic poses of James Dean, Audrey Hepburn, and others from the classic period of Hollywood film—rather than in the buckskin, feathers, and painted faces featured in most Hollywood films—deconstructs time-worn, demeaning representations and opens up new possibilities for seeing Indigenous peoples as contemporary, creative people.

Peters told AJ+ that her project was aimed squarely at disintegrating society’s stereotype of the Native American.

“For so long, the image of Native Americans has always been the relic of the past, with stereotypes–buckskin, feathers, leather,” she said. “…I really want to dispel that ugly stereotype that many people perceive when they think of Native American.”

Learn more about Peters and her work at her website and on Twitter.

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The Sikh Coalition’s Photography Exhibition, The Sikh Project, To Debut

The Sikh Coalition (Facebook)
The Sikh Coalition (Facebook)

If you’re in New York Sept. 17, check out a very special photography exhibit. The Sikh Coalition is debuting their first ever Sikh photography exhibition in the U.S!

The exhibition, “The Sikh Project,” is the result of a partnership between The Sikh Coalition and British photographers Amit and Naroop. As The Sikh Coalition states, the exhibit captures “the beauty of the Sikh faith and the depth of the Sikh American experience.” To quote the site:

As we reflect on 15 years since 9/11 and commemorate the 15th anniversary milestone for our organization, we believe it’s an important moment to celebrate the Sikh experience and identity. The Sikh Project includes 38 new portraits of turbaned men and women that embody the diversity of the Sikh American community and recognize the challenges and triumphs of what it means to be Sikh in America.

According to Brooklyn.com the exhibit will feature 40 portraits of Sikh women and men who come from all walks of life. The goal of the exhibit is to challenge what viewers preconceived notions might be of Sikhs and the turban in general, which has been linked to Islamophobia. The event will also act as an anniversary commemoration of The Sikh Coalition, which, as Brooklyn.com states, was created after 9/11 to address the discrimination and xenophobia Sikhs in America were facing.

As Saupreet Kaur, the executive director of The Sikh Coalition, told Brooklyn.com:

“As we commemorate the 15th anniversary for our organization and reflect on the Sikh American experience 15 years after September 11, 2001, particularly during this period of heightened divisive rhetoric and hate backlash, we feel that the moment is right to highlight the beauty of the Sikh faith and the strength of our collective spirit, and to do so in a way that further educates the broader American public….Our aspiration is to spark conversations across the country about what it means to look like an American, and to humanize communities who are too often regarded as ‘other.’ There is no better means of opening hearts and minds than through the arts.”

The event is free to the public and will take place Sept. 17 through Sept. 25 at 530 Broadway, New York, NY 10012 between 10am to 8 pm, with extended hours on weekends. For groups of 25 or larger, email sikhproject@sikhcoalition.org. To learn more about the event, visit www.sikhcoalition.org/sikhproject and www.amitandnaroop.com. You can also learn more at the Sikh Coalition’s Facebook page.

 

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