28 October 2009

Aaron Huey & the Lakota



I think I honestly want these photos to hurt the viewer. I want people to understand that what they see in these images is a result of a very long and very calculated oppression. It's convenient that we can now step back and say: "Oh, no! Look. They are doing it to themselves! There is nothing we can do!" Very convenient for us. The story of the Lakota is the story of all indigenous people on every continent — they are steamrolled by the dominant society and pushed to the verge of extinction. Assimilate or die.
—Photographer Aaron Huey, in an interview with James Estrin for Lens, the NY Times' excellent photojournal blog. Full article and more pictures here; the comments are also worth a read.

1. Ogala nation pow wow, Pine Ridge
2. Girl with a bow

All images by Aaron Huey