Sunday, November 27, 2016

Olga Morozova, Artist Post # 16

1) Daniella Zalcman is a documentary photographer based between London and New York. Her work tends to focus on the legacies of western colonization, from the rise of homophobia in East Africa to the forced assimilation of indigenous children in North America. One of her famous projects is “Signs of your identity” which focusses on the legacy of the Indian Residential schools in Canada in 1840. In her project Zalcman uses multiple exposures to create an abstract way to tell the story. The artist mostly used her  iPhone 5S to generate poetic black and white portraits, overlaid with landscapes and natural details.

2) This project is about crises of indigenous community in Canada in 1840. Indian Residential schools were intended to assimilate young indigenous students into western Canadian culture, but used brutalizing tactics to achieve their goals. For the artist it is important to tell this story, to let people know what happened. She says that these are stories that you would never learn in a history class. So her primary goal is make a book of these photographs and to get this book into schools as a teaching tool.

3) It is true that history is written by those who won. How often do we know only one side of a story? Thanks to this photographer we can witness the tragic story of the Indigenous communities in Canada not only focusing on the past, but also on the present moment since the artist interviewed a significant amount of indigenous people linked to the Indian Residential Schools. We need this kind of stories that let us to see a glimpse of the truthful past, so we would be able not to repeat same tragic stories all over again. Also I think this is probably the best technique that the artist could have used to tell this story: not using just a simple portrait shots or photographing the legacy of the schools, but rather combining the photographs to create the illusion or an abstraction, giving us a feeling of what happened rather than facts.

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