Photo by Don James, 'One Nation, One Year
If you missed this year's excellent photo show, "Through Navajo Lens," featuring photos from outstanding Dine' photographers at the Navajo Nation Museum, you can still take a photo journey through the lives and land of Navajos.
This journey is by way of the book of photos of Navajo Don James.
Listen to Native America Calling:
Thursday, August 5, 2010– One Nation, One Year of Photos:
In order to help break the stereotype of the “mystical Indian”, one photographer set out on a journey to spend 365 days to find the true spirit of what it means to be Navajo in this day and age. With only 100 bucks in his weekly budget, he took to the place where his people call home – Dinètah. What discoveries did he and his camera come across? How can this type of tribal introspection create understanding and perhaps even change? Why is it important to capture images of our modern tribal communities? Our guest is Don James (Navajo), photographer for the book “One Nation, One Year.” --Native America Calling
Dine' Photographers: Through Navajo Lens
Photo 'Main and Terminal' by Navajo photographer and filmmaker Arlene Bowman, now living in Vancouver
As for that great show, "Through Navajo Lens," at the Navajo Nation Museum, where the book 'One Nation, One Year,' is available, the quality of this show curated by Kenji Kawano makes it perfect for any museum in the world.
Here's what I wrote, when I saw it on its last day of the exhibit, a couple weeks ago:
The best thing that can be said about art is that is surprises. The photo exhibit at the Navajo Nation Museum does surprise, in a good way. With a wide range of color and light, this is what one always hopes a photo show will be. A photo show is even better when the names of old friends are listed as the photographers, and familiar faces grace the photos, like Navajo photographer Arlene Bowman and a portrait of Jones Benally.
A couple of my personal favorites are exact opposites, a very sophisticated looking photo of waterfalls shimmering off of mesas, and an almost blurry photo of a Navajo kitchen table and chairs. But if one were looking for excellence, it would be hard to choose just one, or just ten, or just 20. All are excellent and capture the broadest styles from traditional to a sort of science fiction.
Thanks to Kenji Kawano, Paul Notanabah and all the others who prepared this show. --Brenda Norrell, Censored News