Carlotta Cardana & Danielle SeeWalker, redroadproject.com
ABOUT THE PROJECT
Discovering the Red Road
The Red Road Project is a fresh and candid collection of photographs & stories exploring the relationship between Native American people and their identity today. Our partnership as a photographer and writer duo makes for a multi-dimensional and unique piece. Carlotta’s photographs capture the story of what it means to be a Native American in the twenty-first century, while Danielle’s direct connection to Indian country gives this project an insider point of view.
Segregated at the bottom of society, Native American people have fought against stereotypes and the attempts to see their cultural traditions, practices and language vanish. Dismal life expectancy, drug & alcohol addiction, sexual abuse, poverty, crime and the highest suicide rates in the country are just some of the residual scars left on today’s generations and are often the only things highlighted in mainstream media about this rich and dynamic culture. And yet, there are so many inspiring Native people out there who don’t give up and are working so hard to make a difference for their people.
As Jean Houston once said, “If you keep telling the same sad small story, you will keep living the same sad small life”. Through The Red Road Project we will stop telling the same sad story and start inspiring positive change.
Our project’s name is dedicated to the Native concept for “the good path” that should be followed in life, an idea shared with the spiritual teachings of many other Indian nations. The people we’ve met and photographed follow this “red road” in some way, rising above to be role models to their people and their way of life.
To date, we have traveled several states (driving more than 15,000 miles), documenting inspiring stories of Native American people. We’ve met spiritual leaders, teachers, activists, pageant winners, students, artisans, musicians, community workers, and tribal police officers.
One of our early phases of the project was published by Marie Claire Magazine in several editions around the world and recently featured on CNN.com. It has also been exhibited in London and Rome. A more expansive version of the project will be featured as a stand-alone exhibit at Fonderia 20.9 gallery in Verona, Italy in November 2015.
In the spring of 2015 our project continued with attendance at the Gathering of Nations. We have participated in various speaking engagements in Indian communities around the U.S., and continue to collect more inspiring images and stories of both men and women.
We invite you to reach out to us if you have interest in speaking to us about our project or even becoming part of our project.