Friday, July 26, 2013

Aaron Huey: Seven Years on Pine Ridge: Human Rights in America

Aaron Huey started photographing on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in 2005 as part of a superficial story about poverty in America. In beginning it was all just statistics: 90% unemployment, a %70 school dropout rate, and a male life expectancy of 47 (roughly the same as Afghanistan and Somalia). Over time it became a story about a prisoner of war camp, a story about genocide, a story about stolen lands.

Huey's extensive work documenting the poverty and issues of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation gained wider recognition in 2010 with his talk at TEDxDU at the University of Denver, America's Native Prisoner's of War. The talk was selected to run on which gave it global exposure. The talk outlines the precarious and often violent relationship between the United States government and the people of the Sioux Nation, the history of their treaties, and the effect it has had on the descendants of both parties. A book of Huey's images from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Mitakuye Oyasin (meaning "all my relations"), will be released by Radius Books in Spring 2013.

7 years after beginning this project, the story and Huey's relationships there are more complex than ever. This talk will look at the evolution of a story from journalism to activism, and finally beyond Huey's own imagery towards a collaborative Community Story Telling project that lives online.

Aaron Huey is a photojournalist who works primarily for the National Geographic Society magazines, where he has shot over 20 features including the August 2012 cover story on the Oglala Lakota of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Huey is also a Contributing Editor at Harper's Magazine and was a 2012 Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University and a lecturer at