Electric Lodge Theater - 1416 Electric Ave , Venice CA 90291
FACES OF THE INDIGENOUS EXHIBIT
May 25th -June 3, 2018
In the last few years of my research-oriented travels, I’ve spent time in the remote corners of Northeast India where the elders still worship the sun and the moon and speak an unscripted language that is rapidly dying; slept in the homes of the last remaining headhunters; visited deep in the heart of the San José del Pacífico where the Mazatec curanderos still journey beyond earth with their young sons and daughters; met with the Tana Torajans who still bring their dead back to life in the triennial ritual of Ma’nene; and shared stolen laughs with the last remaining tattooed-faced women of the forgotten mountains, capturing portraits of cultures on the brink of extinction.
Anthropologist, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence and my long time hero, Wade Davis said that “Indigenous cultures are not failed attempts at modernity, let alone failed attempts to be us. They are unique expressions of the human imagination and heart, unique answers to a fundamental question: What does it mean to be human and alive? Together the myriad of cultures makes up an intellectual and spiritual web of life that envelops the planet and is every bit as important to the well being of the planet as is the biosphere.”
As I’ve experienced so myself, these peoples show us the social world in which we live is simply one model of reality and that there are different ways of thinking, being, and interacting with the Earth. But with every dying culture, a great amount of precious wisdom is being washed away; languages forgotten; unscripted, centuries-old knowledge fading as new, western philosophies are being adopted by the younger generations. Their acute wisdom, intelligence, innovation and creativity must be preserved if we are to breathe a rich, polychromatic existence.
I’m honored to be invited to display my portraits of the Indigenous People at the Garifuna Indigenous International Film Festival in Los Angeles on May 25, 2018 by Freda Sideroff, Founder and Director of the GIIFF which aims to support the preservation of all indigenous cultures in the world through art and film! Hope to see you there, Los Angeles! For Film Schedule, check http://garifunafilmfestival.com