Standing Strong by Josué Rivas
by Josué Rivas is a fruit of the 2018 FotoEvidence Book Award with World Press Photo.
Photographs: Josué Rivas
Foreword: Winona LaDuke
Art: Wakeah Jhane
Photo Editor: Régina Monfort
Text Editor: David Stuart
Design: Bonnie Briant Design, NYC
Printed at Ofset Yapimevi.
For orders of 10 or more books please contact David Stuart at firstname.lastname@example.org
Standing Strong is a more than a photo book. It's a tool for reflection. The work was created during the seven months I spent documenting the historic gathering of Indigenous peoples and allies at Standing Rock, North Dakota. While many storytellers focused on the clash between police and Water Protectors, I turned my lens to the latent spirit embedded in the camps. The images that emerged serve as an offering to the all our relations and those protecting sacred sites, the water of life and our planet as a whole.
Standing Rock was the epicenter of an awakening, people from all four directions came to stand together and started a movement that created ripples across the globe. At the camps, there was a sacred fire going at all times serving as a space for prayers and intentions. People gathered in a circle and were with each other.
The image of sweet grass embossed on the cover of the book is a gesture for welcoming positivity into the journey of the viewer. Standing Strong is an offering with four chapters. Many tribes in Turtle Island (North America) have a deep relationship with the number 4. It refers to the four elements: water, air, fire, and land and also the four cardinal directions. Each chapter is structured with a different intention but ultimately they are doors to open into the spirit of healing and reconciliation amongst all people.
For all my relations and for the next seven generations, we are Standing Strong.
- Josué Rivas
The publication of Standing Strong was made possible with the support of the Grodzins Fund, Ofset Yapimevi and Bonnie Briant Design, NYC.
Read a review of Standing Strong at The Photobook Journal.