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Rostros Indigenas: Portrait Photography by Miguel Akira Mar

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Rostros Indígenas–Un manifiesto Indio

This series has come from years of anger, despair, and frustration at the political institutions and societal values that allow the exploitation and murder of indigenous descendants and others.

Rostros Indígenas is a call to all descendants of indigenous people in recognizing their innate power and mobilizing it to dismantle the colonial values placed on us. And In doing so, dismantling their ruling societies.

We must understand that change will not come from the people who benefit from this system. They have no reason to question it. It can only come from our actions.

Esta serie proviene de años de ira, desesperación y frustración en las instituciones políticas y los valores sociales que permiten la explotación y los asesinatos de descendientes indígenas y otros.

Rostros indígenas es un llamado a todos los descendientes de pueblos indígenas para que reconozcan su poder innato y lo movilicen para desmantelar los valores coloniales ubicados en nosotros. Y al hacerlo, desmantelando sus sociedades gobernantes.

Debemos entender que el cambio no vendrá de las personas que se benefician de este sistema. No tienen motivos para cuestionarlo. Solo puede provenir de nuestras acciones.

Akira  Statement about the Portrait Series

 Rostros Indigentas seeks to conserve and highlight the beauty and spirit that exists within the descendants of indigenous people. Framing it not only for the present, but for future generations to see.

For many cultures like my own surviving colonialism, the idea has been embedded through institutions and society, that in order to save ourselves we must leave behind our ancestors languages and purify our blood by marrying through christ and having children with a white person.

It’s only been 500 years since the western hemisphere started to be colonized. In this short period, many people of indigenous descent have silently lost their tongues in exchange for “opportunities,” “acceptance,” and most critically our survival within these societies. This has detached us from our roots and left us disoriented, leaving us to only have one reality, one which our purpose is to give our labor to maintain these colonial societies. We have internalized that to be with a white person is to progress and succeed in life.

“Asi vamos a purificar nuestra sangre.”

“This is how we’re going to purify our blood,” my family would say.

Colonial societies will always define us according to our functions within them, instead of acknowledging that our cultures have the inalienable power to exist according to our separate customs. Those in power don’t want us to exist on our own, so it’s foolish that we strive to have a better place in them by changing their laws, policies and institutions whose main priority is protecting the homogeneous, patriarchal, militant, for profit, class based society. In reality we need to recognize that we don’t want to exist within these destructive societies.

Even though colonialism still reigns over our ancestral lands, it will be through the self-affirmation of our identity that  we can begin to decolonize our values and begin to dismantle these societies.  We can begin to free the land to free ourselves, only then can we all start healing.

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