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Book of the Week: A Pick by Svetlana Bachevanova

We Are Still Here. By Dick Bancroft.
Borealis Books, 2013.
This week's Book of the Week pick comes from FotoEvidence publisher Svetlana Bachevanova who has selected We Are Still Here: A Photographic History of the American Indian Movement by Dick Bancroft.

"In 1968, inspired by the Civil Rights Movement, a group of Native American activists founded the American Indian Movement (AIM) to address issues that were destroying their community like poverty, poor education, police harassment, environmental destruction and inadequate health care. During the 1970s, the movement organized several actions designed to gain public attention. The actions ensured AIM would be noticed and highlight what they saw as the erosion of Indian rights and sovereignty.

"Long before that, in 1936, a young boy named Dick Bancroft came back from school and found on his door step the first issue of LIFE magazine. He spent the rest of the day on the floor looking at the pictures in the magazine. What he discovered was that he could learn more from looking at a single photograph than from reading all the articles in the magazine. This issue of LIFE magazine would shape his destiny.

"He took up photography and, years later, his love of photography and his engagement with local Indians led him to documents AIM's first actions. Trusted and called upon regularly, he went on to photograph dozens of AIM actions and gatherings over the years. Now, his images tell the 40-year story of AIM's struggle for Native rights and sovereignty.

"We Are Still Here: A Photographic History of the American Indian Movement makes much of Bancroft's archive available for the first time. We Are Still Here provides an inside look at the movement that fundamentally changed the relationship between the United States and the Indian tribes. The book both documents the movement and continues AIM's mission by reminding the viewer that Native Americans are still here and still face discrimination and hardship, that AIM continues to inspire and support those who seek justice for Native Americans.

"Half activism, half photography, We Are Still Here should be in every school library, so our children know the story of the brave man and women of AIM who stood for their nation and fought complacency and indifference. That the first and most important right every human has is the right to fight for his rights and the rights of others. This is what Dick Bancroft did and We Are Still Here is a testimony to that commitment." --Svetlana Bachevanova

from We Are Still Here. By Dick Bancroft. Borealis Books, 2013.

Svetlana Bachevanova is a photojournalist, curator and the publisher of FotoEvidence, a platform for documentary photography focused on social injustice. Every year, FotoEvidence has an open call for entries and awards the FotoEvidence Book Award to one photographer whose project demonstrates courage in the pursuit of social Justice. The project is published as a book and exhibited, with the work of four award finalists, in New York at the FotoEvidence Book Award exhibit.

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