When I photographed this Sunrise ceremony, I was so captivated by the strength and beauty of these Native women. The way they adorned themselves in their traditional clothing and headdresses with such pride moved me so, especially on a day like Thanksgiving, which was a tragic day in their history . They stood unapologetically on the top of Alcatraz island celebrating their traditions and owning their ancestry and stories. This to me, embodied the beauty of celebrating who we are, here and now.
In this timely photo series “Who we are: the will to adorn”, the subjects adorn themselves with pieces of clothing and jewelry that have a history, sentimental meaning, and significance to their identity. In a time where racial division is on the rise and anti-immigration rhetoric is prevalent, it is a joining of women who have “the will”, the deliberate intention, to celebrate the beauty of who they are. The combination of photojournalistic photographs and unconventional portraiture place subjects in their own home or landscapes that resemble their native land. With this, I am inviting viewers to look, listen, and think about the significance of adornment, the value of culture, and the will that it takes to be who we are, truly and fearlessly in America.