Oak Flat: A Fight for Sacred Land in the American West with author Lauren Redniss
Tuesday, Nov. 16, 5 p.m.
Online via Zoom
Closed captioning provided
Presented by Lauren Redniss, artist, author, MacArthur fellow, and associate professor at the Parsons School of Design. Sharyl Pahe-Short, visitor services manager at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, will moderate the Q & A.
Oak Flat, an oasis in the Arizona desert, is a holy place, an ancient burial ground and a religious site where Apache girls celebrate the coming-of-age ritual known as the Sunrise Ceremony. In 1995, the largest known, untapped copper reserve in North America was discovered nearby. A decade later, the U.S. Congress passed a law transferring the area to an international conglomerate, whose planned copper mine will wipe Oak Flat off the map—sending its natural springs, petroglyph-covered rocks, and old-growth trees tumbling into a void.
In this presentation, Lauren Redniss will explore the ongoing Oak Flat controversy and examine its place in the history of Indigenous land expropriation in the United States. Additionally, she will discuss her approach to “visual nonfiction,” the role of portraiture in her work and the possibilities of unconventional storytelling forms.
This program is part of the Greenberg Steinhauser Forum in American Portraiture Conversation Series sponsored by Dan Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser and is hosted by PORTAL, the Portrait Gallery’s Scholarly Center.