Climate change is the largest existential crisis ever faced by humanity. Indigenous Peoples understand that the changing climate is a symptom of underlying paradigms that need to change. We need to act boldly to limit the worst effects, yet our efforts have been hampered by racism, colonialism and corporate greed. Indigenous communities worldwide are on the front lines, experiencing the brunt of climate impacts and leading the fight to stop climate change. Indigenous voices are key to healing our planet.
In the midst of facing these urgent challenges, where can we find beauty and connection and hope? On this evening, Native photographers Kiliii Yüyan (Nanai/Hezhen) and Josué Rivas (Mexica & Otomi) will share their images in conversation with scholar/activist/artist Lyla June Johnston (Diné/Navajo & Tsétsêhestâhese/Cheyenne). Join us for stunning photography and indigenous perspectives on climate change, its interconnection with social justice movements, and why photography matters.
Photographer Kiliii Yüyan illuminates the stories of Indigenous communities, wildlands, and the Arctic. Informed by ancestry that is both Nanai (Siberian Native) and Chinese-American, he explores the human relationship to the natural world from different cultural perspectives. Kiliii is an award-winning contributor to National Geographic, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Guardian, CNN and other major publications.
Josué Rivas (Mexica and Otomi) is an Indigenous Futurist, creative director, visual storyteller and educator working at the intersection of art, technology, journalism, and decolonization. His work aims to challenge the mainstream narrative about Indigenous peoples, co-create with the community, and serve as a vehicle for collective healing.
He is a 2020 Catchlight Leadership Fellow, Magnum Foundation Photography and Social Justice Fellow, founder of the Standing Strong Project, co-founder of Natives Photograph, Curator at Indigenous TikTok and winner of the 2018 FotoEvidence Book Award with World Press Photo.
His work has appeared in National Geographic, The Guardian, The New York Times, Apple, Nike and Converse amongst others. Josué is based in the traditional territory of the Cowlitz, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and Clackamas (Portland, OR).
Lyla June Johnston
Lyla June is a poet, singer-songwriter, hip-hop artist, human ecologist, public speaker and community organizer of Diné (Navajo), Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne) and European lineages. Her dynamic, multi-genre performance and speech style has invigorated and inspired audiences across the globe towards personal, collective and ecological healing. Her messages focus on Indigenous rights, supporting youth, inter-cultural healing, historical trauma and traditional land stewardship practices. She blends her undergraduate studies in human ecology at Stanford University, her graduate work in Native American Pedagogy at the University of New Mexico, and the indigenous worldview she grew up with to inform her perspectives and solutions. Her internationally acclaimed performances and speeches are conveyed through the medium of prayer, hip-hop, poetry, acoustic music and speech. Her personal goal is to grow closer to Creator by learning how to love deeper.
***A Zoom link will be sent to registrants a few days or day prior to event.***
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