DIGNITY: In Honor of the the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Updated Second Edition (Hardcover)
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“The work of Dana Gluckstein helps us to truly see, not just appearances, but essences, to see as God sees us, not just the physical form, but also the luminous soul that shines through us.”
–NOBEL LAUREATE, ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU IN THE FOREWORD
The updated edition of Dana Gluckstein’s iconic book, DIGNITY: In Honor of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, provides urgency and a contemporary focus to the worldwide movement against racial injustice in which DIGNITY continues to play an important part. It includes new images of Native Americans and Moroccan Berbers as well as a new epilogue from Amnesty International, “Freedom from Violence” calling for the United States to take action against rape and assault of Native American and Alaskan Native women.
The first edition of DIGNITY, a three-time winner of the International Photography Awards, helped create a turning point for the Obama administration to adopt the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – a historic milestone – in association with Amnesty International for their 50th anniversary. The UN Declaration, whose full text is reproduced in DIGNITY, is the most comprehensive global statement of the measures every government must enact to ensure the survival and well-being of Indigenous Peoples. It has empowered a worldwide movement of Indigenous Peoples to assert stewardship of the land, air, and water.
Gluckstein spent three decades in the Americas, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific creating more than 100 black-and-white, duotone portraits that appear in DIGNITY and express the theme of “tribes in transition.” In the decade since DIGNITY first appeared, Gluckstein’s concerns over the treatment of Indigenous Peoples and her commitment to fighting on their behalf have only intensified. “DIGNITY is a call to action against racism,” states Gluckstein. In the book’s introduction, Native American Faithkeeper Oren R. Lyons reveals the roots of racism in the medieval Catholic Church and its Doctrine of Discovery that condemned Indigenous Peoples as subhuman to be treated like animals - the justification for their conquerors to steal land and enslave the inhabitants.
Gluckstein intends the new edition will be as consequential as the original, this time in spurring action on behalf of Native American and Alaskan women. More than one in three Native women will be raped at some point in their lives. Sexual assault is so common in these communities that many Native American and Alaska Native women don’t know any women who haven’t experienced the trauma. In addition, many perpetrators go unpunished. Gluckstein sees DIGNITY’s second edition as contributing to the current effort to insure these women receive adequate post-rape care mandated by the U.S. Tribal Law and Order Act - Sexual Assault Protocols and the UN Declaration. “I believe in the power of images to shift consciousness.”
“DIGNITY (the book and museum exhibition) is a multifaceted, many-layered project that captures the collision of modernity and tradition, globalization and indigeneity with grace, elegance, and profound humanity.”
–JILL DEUPI, CHIEF CURATOR OF THE LOWE ART MUSEUM
About the Author
DANA GLUCKSTEIN has photographed iconic figures including Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev, Desmond Tutu, and Muhammad Ali, as well as award-winning advertising campaigns for clients such as Apple and Toyota. Her portraits are held in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Gluckstein’s international museum exhibition, DIGNITY: Tribes in Transition, presented at the United Nations in Geneva and has been touring European and U.S. museums since 2011. She addressed the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in 2013 on how art can impact the state of the world. DIGNITY is a three-time winner of the International Photography Awards. Gluckstein graduated from Stanford University, where she studied psychology, painting, and photography, and realized the power of images to shape consciousness. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and has two children.
"Gluckstein offers more than 90 portraits of indigenous peoples from some of the world's most impoverished and oppressed populations, managing in each frame, a rare balance of formal composition and breathtaking intimacy. Her black and white photographs of men, women, and children from -- Kenya, Mexico, Fiji, Botswana, Bhutan, Canada -- are striking textured masterpieces of mood that pay a powerful homage to imperiled cultures...signaling our collective interdependence and fragility."
— Publishers Weekly
“Gluckstein’s black-and-white portraits, made over three decades, tenderly explore the theme of tribal peoples in an era of transition.”
— The New York Times Book Review
“HOT TYPE: Dana Gluckstein honors the DIGNITY of indigenous tribes”
— VANITY FAIR
"For museum director, Barbara Applegate, the power of Gluckstein’s work — on view in the exhibit “Dignity: Tribes in Transition” — can be explained by concepts posited by French philosopher Roland Barthes. All photographs have “ ‘studium,’ or the facts,” Applegate explains, but what makes Gluckstein’s images truly affecting is “punctum,” a piercing detail enabling the viewer to have a direct relationship with its subject."
"These are square portraits. The format imbues them with a sense of monumentality. Gluckstein may be focusing this body of work on change, but what most strongly comes across is the character of each sitter. The woman in “Aboriginal Artist, Australia, 1989”rests her head in her hands. She maybe spent, but like all these subjects, she has a regal presence that makes it hard to look away."
— The Boston Globe
"Dana Gluckstein is a celebrated, award-winning photographer whose work has appeared in countless campaigns, newspapers, and magazines (including ELLE!). In her 30-year career, she has captured cultural luminaries from Halston and Jane Russell to Mikhail Gorbachev and Nelson Mandela with her vintage Hasselblad camera, but perhaps her most important work has been her personal mission, photographing indigenous communities around the globe. These stunning, inspiring, and heart-breaking photos, spanning three decades and tens of thousands of miles, have been collected in a new book, Dignity: In Honor of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, out next week from PowerHouse Books. We caught up with the author on the eve of a special reception at Donna Karan's Urban Zen to talk about the project."
— ELLE USA
"Each unflinching gaze vies for attention, dragging you across the room for a closer look. The Haitian woman draped in beads and scarf, a pipe hanging from her lips. Four Bhutanese boys sitting cross-armed on a stone wall. The Herero man in the dark double-breasted suit and hipster hat, staring through shades cloaking the Namibian sun."
— Miami Herald
"Gluckstein came to understand the power of art to move the needle from “ought” to “can” while she was still a student at Stanford University (where she studied psychology, painting, and photography). In particular, she realized that images have the capacity to influence how we conceptualize and interpret the world around us. This realization resonated deeply with the young artist, whose early commercial photography campaigns took her overseas. As she traveled the globe, Gluckstein became entranced with Indigenous Peoples, many of whose ways of lives and—in some cases—very existences were under threat. Documenting these individuals in stunning photographic portraits that capture the essence of their being while also speaking to their cultural roots, heritage, and legacies became a life-long commitment; one that eventually gained Gluckestein the attention not only of the art world but also social, environmental, and political activists.
The outcome was DIGNITY; a multi-faceted, many-layered project that captures the collision of modernity and tradition, globalization and indigeneity with grace, elegance, and profound humanity.”
— Jill Deupi, Chief Curator, Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami