Photographer Matika Wilbur is almost always on the road, but this weekend while she was here, she filled me in on recent travels in Arizona, where border patrol stopped Wilbur and her photo subjects at gunpoint. Apache land was willy-nilly divided by the drawing of the U.S./Mexico border, which leads to hostile interactions that, from a native point of view, are entirely nonsensical.
You won't see the cops or the divided land in Wilbur's photographs from Arizona. As she wrote Friday on her blog,
People frequently ask me: "Why don't you photograph the REAL INDIANS?" As if "real" Indian identity should somehow coincide with the look of poverty or stoicism.
I refuse to accept those identities as our only forms of representation.
We deserve to have sheroes too. And we do, they are walking among us.