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Blog: Photographer Matika Wilbur set to document all tribes

Filed Under: Arts & Entertainment | National
More on: matika wilbur, media, photography, stereotypes

YouTube: Matika Wilbur: Project 562

Photographer Matika Wilbur (Tulalip / Swinomish) has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund her efforts to capture members of nearly every federally recognized tribe in the United States:
One year ago, Seattle-based photographer Matika Wilbur, who was raised on the Tulalip Reservation in the Pacific Northwest, set out to change these distorted perceptions of Native America with Project562. Her goal is to interview and photograph citizens of all 566 federally recognized tribes in the United States. “Project562 is about bringing forward authentic stories from within Indian country in a positive way that can create a cultural exchange, so that we can move past some of those historical inaccuracies,” Wilbur tells Co.Design.

Recently, Wilbur launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the completion of Project 562. For a year now, Wilbur has been on the road, living out of her Honda, which she calls her “war pony.” She’s slept on couches and dined with the members of the 170 tribes she’s photographed so far. “I have been welcomed over and over again with kindness and generosity and incredible hospitality in ways that have really just brought me to tears,” Wilbur says.

She’s hoping to raise a total of $54,000 to pay for film (she doesn’t shoot digital) and living expenses so that she can stay on the road. Her work will culminate in a multi-volume fine art portrait series, which the University of Washington Press has offered to publish. The Tacoma Art Museum in Washington is also planning several exhibitions of her photographs, the first of which is slated for May of this year. She also plans on creating online databases of stories and portraits from Apaches, Swinomish, Hualapai, Northern Cheyenne, Tlingit, Pomo, Lumbee, and other Native Americans, who currently make up 1.6% of the U.S. population.

Get the Story:
One Artist's Mission To Photograph Every Native American Tribe In The U.S. (Fast Company Design 2/3)

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