Thursday, October 8, 2015

VANCOUVER BC Dineh Arlene Bowman 'Pushing Boundaries' Picture Taker

(L) Navajo Talking Picture, Greasewood, Navajo Nation. (R) Arlene Bowman
Picture Taker -"Pushing Boundaries"

By Arlene Bowman, Dine' (Navajo)
Censored News
Oct. 2015

Arlene Bowman, photographer and filmmaker born on the Navajo Nation in Greasewood, Ariz., grew up in Phoenix. Arlene is known for her films, including Navajo Talking Picture and Song Journey, shown in international film festivals and on PBS. Arlene's photos are on exhibit in Vancouver BC, where she now lives.

Arlene Bowman, Dine’ known as Navajo, I, started taking still photographs since 14 when and where in 1963, Phoenix, Arizona, I first learned still photography from Natasha Kashmereck, a still photography teacher at Cortez High School.  Now primarily I am a filmmaker. At 22 in 1971 and afterwards in the U.S. and worldwide I became more active and constantly shot still photographs: of landscapes, friends, people I knew and did not know well, animals, parties, gatherings, landscapes, places I travelled to and lately still photographs and videos of Coho salmon at Hyland Creek in Surrey BC Canada.  I have taken many still photographs to document my life. Lulls sometimes happened.
I know the “old style” and digital style of still photography. At Cortez High I learned how to shoot black and white film, process and print black and white negatives into prints. I shot with a 2 1/4” Yashica camera.  I learned to process film, winding film onto a plastic in the dark then placed the plastic inside a 2 1/4” plastic canister.  Poured 1:3 Kodak Dk-76 into canister, 68 degrees Fahrenheit and agitated per minute, 11 minutes. Poured out Dk-76 liquid. Poured water into canister to rinse out Dk-76, 3-4 minutes. Poured regular fix into canister and agitated per minute, 10 minutes. 5 minutes - if selected rapid fix and agitated per minute.  After fix, poured hustler into canister to rinse fix from film, agitated per minute, 2 minutes.  Washed film in water, 12 minutes.  Dipped film in photo flow 30 seconds and hung up to dry.
In 1971 I shot film with a Minolta SLR camera. In the dark or in a black bag I wound 35mm black and white film onto a 35mm metal wind up and placed it into a metal canister. In 1974 I bought a Nikkormat SLR. Shot mostly black and white film and color slides. I bought a Simon Omega enlarger and printed mostly 35mm black and white prints in my LA apartment kitchen. Started shooting digital with a small Canon power shot in 2008. Now I shoot still photographs and videos with Canon digital EOS SLR Rebel T3.
Since I could not break into the still photography world at 26 years old, I decided to try filmmaking. People learn to make films and videos by being self-taught or they attend film school.  When I first arrived and lived in LA in 1976, I lived near Vermont Avenue, across the street from Los Angeles Community College. As far as I knew at the time concerning community colleges in the whole of Los Angeles, LACC was the only community college in existence around that had a cinema program affordable for the low income. My first film classes took place there.  Von Obern a teacher taught a business film class.  He attended UCLA. I asked him after class who does UCLA select, a particular student or person to go to UCLA film school?  He said any background. I had my BFA in still photography. When I heard his answer, I said, I’m gonna try UCLA. I applied and got in. I liked it. I attended the UCLA graduate film production in 1979.  Received a MFA in film production 1986. The filmmaking doors were more open than still photography for me.
 Still photography gave me some paid jobs, but not a lot. In the future I wish to have a solo still photography show. I had heard of a guy who paid for his own still photography show, a good idea, but he had a sizable income to put it on.  If no curator accepts my still photographs to show for a solo show, I will fund it myself.  Or create a still photography book.  I always wondered since 22, 1971, why aren’t there many Indigenous people who shoot still photographs or why aren't there more shows shot by Indigenous still photographers in the world? I followed the route of the counter culture as an Indigenous young person in the late 60’s and early 70’s who asked for change and questioned authority a lot. I didn't follow a conservative path.  
Closely I’ve followed statistic assessments of women since 2011 who look for jobs and work in mainstream film and television: outnumbered and over looked in U.S. and Canada. Actually since 1986 when I graduated from UCLA film school and completed the “Navajo Talking Picture” I followed the status, especially of Indigenous women. Mainstream filmmaking world is dominated by men in North America.  I imagine still photography world’s the same in regards to women.  I checked statistics of women employed in mainstream film and television in both U.S. and Canada; for example from Directors Guild of America and the Women in Film organization in Canada. I follow other creative fields, too. I ask, which people have managerial positions? With the Directors Guild assessment of first time episodic television directors, I wondered how were Indigenous women assessed. In discussions among white women and film in the U.S., usually Indigenous women are not included in discussions. Why Not? Why does mainstream film and television have to be a men’s club? Reminds me of police departments in North America.  Apparently men do not want to hire women especially Indigenous women and women of color in mainstream film and television.  When will men consider women to hire, especially Indigenous women and other women of color.  At present this assessment’s still dismal without any great change: sad. Always been this way since my arrival in LA in 1976, but change must happen.  

Although I state the difficulties of Indigenous women to make a living as a still photographer or filmmaker in the mainstream or independently, I continue to shoot still photographs, make videos, write film-video stories, in my life, job or no job. For example, the current topic I shoot of Coho salmon who return yearly in November to Hyland Creek to spawn, release their eggs, die, hatch their eggs and release Coho frys the following March or if someone asks me to take pictures of an event I do it because I like it a lot, but prefer payment or equipment expenses paid for. Still Photography’s similar to filmmaking generally, creative yet technical and costly. Shooting film and video is more expensive and complicated. Other aspects I do: dance, sing, write songs, write poems, perform the spoken word or songs at the open mic, write dramas and make documentaries. I believe in learning continuously of topics. However, many artistic pursuits are hard to maintain. Lots of energy. Money’s a requisite. I've heard of fellow UCLA colleague filmmakers who’ve dropped out, discontinued to make films-videos after film school. Filmmaking’s a tough profession to upkeep requiring loads of stamina and persistence to deflect huge disappointments. Everyone’s different. Successes are possible; for example, such as the "In the Heart of Indigenous Women” 2015 and "Pushing Boundaries" 2015, art exhibits.  I try.

NEWE Western Shoshone Cultural Days Oct 24 -- 25, 2015

Thanks to Ian Zabarte for sharing with Censored News.

Video: Yaqui Water: The Right and the Resistance


By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

Mario Luna and Fernando Jimenez

Oct. 8, 2015 -- Censored News celebrates the release of our brothers, Vicam Yaqui Spokesmen Mario Luna and Fernando Jimenez from prison. They were falsely imprisoned for one year in Sonora, Mexico. 
This video explains the right of Yaqui in Sonora to 50 percent of Rio Yaqui, the Yaqui River, water now being stolen by the Independence Aqueduct for the City of Hermosillo. 
Vicam Yaqui maintained the long running highway barricade on the busy coastal route, a major trucking route, through their community to demand their water rights and to halt the theft of their water. 
Censored News was there, and was the only media from the United States present, during the first consultation on water rights at the International Water Forum in Vicam Yaqui Pueblo before the barricade began. 
The National Indigenous Congress and Zapatistas support Vicam Yaqui in their struggle.

Video by TeleSur
Published on May 19, 2015
In-depth reports and analysis from our extensive network of correspondents throughout the region on the most important developments in Latin America.
Since before the Spanish colonization, the Yaqui indigenous tribe has inhabited the arid part of northern Mexico in the state of Sonora near the Yaqui River. For centuries, the tribe has defended its territory, autonomy, self-determination and identity. The Yaquis are a nation with their own laws, internal rules, cultural identity, land and river. For centuries they have depended on the Yaqui River for survival. In 2010, however, the Sonora state government began construction on a 172 km megaproject known as the Independence Aqueduct to supply the city of Hermosillo and agro-industrial enterprises with water from the Yaqui River. The project openly violates a 1940 decree by former President Lazaro Cardenas, which guarantees that at least 50 % of the water belongs to the Yaquis. In 2013, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the tribe, declaring the state’s environmental impact study void and ordering an injunction for the suspension of the aqueduct. Sonora state authorities, however, have ignored the ruling and last September arrested Yaqui spokesmen Mario Luna and Fernando Jimenez in what the tribe considers an attempt to intimidate them and dissuade them from resisting the aqueduct and fighting for their constitutional rights. teleSUR

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