Natalie Diaz: Self-Portraits
Much of the foundational imagery and contemporary, often-stereotypical understanding possessed by white America about Native Americans comes from the work of Edward S. Curtis, the Seattle-based photographer who undertook a decades-long ethnographic survey of Native culture in the turn-of-the-century. Documenting some 82-plus tribes, Curtis, a non-Native, left behind a controversial legacy.
On the 150th anniversary of Curtis’ birth, award-winning poet Natalie Diaz visits Hugo House to recast the conversation around Native identity through Native voices while examining futurity and the image. Diaz’s poetry, including in her collection When My Brother Was an Aztec (Copper Canyon Press, 2012), is steeped in the mythology and cultural history of reservation life, often examining memory’s role in human identity.
Tonight, Diaz will present a series of self-portraits and share work written in response. Throughout, she’ll discuss the process of creating both the portraits and the text, as well as the overall conversation between image and text. After the presentation, questions from the audience will be welcomed.