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'Lakota Spaces, Lakota Lenses' exhibit at Racing Magpie

This interview posted above is from SDPB's daily public-affairs show, In the Moment, hosted by Lori Walsh.

An exhibition at Racing Magpie in Rapid City invites visitors to explore photographic images from the land of the Ocheti Sakowin. The exhibit 'Lakota Spaces, Lakota Lenses' is a look at community from two award-winning and ground-breaking artists.

Jaida Grey Eagle is a photojournalist, beadwork artist, producer, and writer. She is a Report for America Fellow and has a BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts. During her studies, Grey Eagle says she became more conscious of the language often associated with photography and has worked to to be more conscientious with her visual storytelling.

"I was interested to read about the inherent violence that comes with photography," says Grey Eagle. "We use the word 'shoot,' 'capture,' all these things. If you think about who has been the photographers in Indian country it's largely been outsiders. If you think about it in that context, I did not want to do that."

In her portraits, Grey Eagle asked women who participated how they wanted to be presented. "I handed over collaborative control because I did not want to impose my own view on who we think we are." says Grey Eagle.

Dawnee LeBeau is a photojournalist and visual storyteller. She's been a Cultural Capital Fellow with First Peoples Fund. Her work has been featured in national news outlets like the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Bloomberg.

"There's a key component of sharing what the photography history looked like for our ancestors and what it looks like in present day, in media, and when allies or when nonindigenous relatives visit our communities and what that process looks like." says LeBeau. "A lot of educational pieces in my work."

The exhibition "Lakota Spaces, Lakota Lenses" is on display now at Racing Magpie in Rapid City. Racing Magpie is a nexus for creativity and learning with a focus on Native and regional artists.

Lori Walsh is the host and senior producer of In the Moment.
Carl Norquist is a producer and writer for In the Moment. An EMMY-winning producer, Carl previously worked for KTIV News 4 in Sioux City, IA. Carl is a Minnesota native and graduate of Augustana University with majors in Art and English.