Sunshine Recorder

Native Americans: Portraits From a Century Ago

In the early 1900s, Seattle-based photographer Edward S. Curtis embarked on a project of epic scale, to travel the western United States and document the lives of Native Americans still untouched by Western society. Curtis secured funding from J.P. Morgan, and visited more than 80 tribes over the next 20 years, taking more than 40,000 photographs, 10,000 wax cylinder recordings, and huge volumes of notes and sketches. The end result was a 20-volume set of books illustrated with nearly 2,000 photographs, titled “The North American Indian.” In the hundred-plus years since the first volume was published, Curtis’s depictions have been both praised and criticized. The sheer documentary value of such a huge and thorough project has been celebrated, while critics of the photography have objected to a perpetuation of the myth of the “noble savage” in stage-managed portraits. Step back now, into the early 20th century, and let Edward Curtis show you just a few of the thousands of faces he viewed through his lens. [34 photos]


106 year old Armenian Woman Guards Home - 1990 (UN Photo/Armineh Johannes)

106 year old Armenian Woman Guards Home - 1990 (UN Photo/Armineh Johannes)

(via collectivehistory-deactivated20)

"Gods and Beasts" by Rémi Chapeaublanc

A solitary voyage through Europe and Asia, led Rémi Chapeaublanc to Mongolia. The discovery of this country, where Man has not yet desecrated Nature, fed his thinking to create the photographic series Gods & Beasts.

In these lands, men and animals depend on ancestral ties that are both sacred and necessary. It is an archaic and visceral relationship in which equivocal domination games are put into questioning. Which are the gods, and which are the beasts? Or rather to whom are they the Gods and for whom are they Beasts?

Gods & Beasts consists of raw portraits. While there is an ambiguous hierarchy between men and animals, this series—created outside of a studio, in the original environment—overcomes this cultural order. This work of bringing into the light these relationships—in an almost ceremonial manner—places these Gods and Beasts for once on equal footing. The viewer is thus left the sole judge of the boundary between animal and divine.