Standing Rock

Photo Contest Winners

AAA is proud to feature the winning photos from our 2017 photo contest throughout our Annual Report. We sincerely thank all photographers who submitted photos for sharing their work.

Girls of Tsukimi

PHOTO: Gina Santi

Otokoyama Mountain, Japan. Tsukimi means moon-viewing in Japanese. The celebrations normally take place throughout Japan during September/October of the modern solar calendar.

Tear gas, Backwater Bridge, Standing Rock

PHOTO: Elizabeth Hoover

I took this photo as the Morton County Sheriff’s Department and Dakota Access Pipeline security forces lobbed tear gas canisters, percussion grenades, rubber bullets, and icy water at water protectors. Clouds of tear gas are illuminated by the intense security floodlights set up along the blockage created on Backwater Bridge, separating the Oceti Sakowin camp from police, military, and security. I was present at this event as a member of the camp and as an educator with a group of Native students interested in learning about Indigenous movements for environmental protection. The violence of 11/20 brought Standing Rock to the national attention and further ignited an Indigenous movement.


PHOTO: Dick Powis

DAKAR, SENEGAL. After the iftar meal (ndogou in Wolof) and prayer, people sit together on the sidewalk, chat, drink tea, and smoke cigarettes. More and more, I notice people taking to their mobile devices to chat with friends and family near and far.

India: Kid with Kid

PHOTO: Michael Balonek

NORTH INDIA. February 2016. Micaiah (age 8), showing us his friend Bhoomi’s goats.

Climbing for Science, 1

PHOTO: Courtney Cecale

As climate change warms the planet, new jobs are being created to tackle unprecedented environmental challenges. Pictured is Wilmer Sanches Rodriguez, a scientist hired by the National Institute of Research in Glaciers and Mountain Ecosystems in Peru to collect snow and ice samples on some of the Andes most at risk glacial peaks. He risks his safety on two expeditions per month, even during the dry season. Here he is walking toward his sampling site on the Yanapaccha glacier, where I accompanied him many times during my fieldwork.

2017 Women’s March

PHOTO: Lia Haro

January 21, 2017, Flagstaff, Arizona, Women’s March.

In communities across the United States, people flooded to the streets on January 21, 2017, to protest the new presidential administration and affirm the rights of women and LGBTQ people. In this photo, taken while conducting ethnographic fieldwork on contemporary protest politics, the young child’s eyes seem to register a certain trepidation about the possibilities for the resistance and hope that her sign proclaims. Like the baby that often symbolizes the coming of a new year, this baby might be read as symbolizing the nascent movement simultaneously hopeful, full of potential and burdened with the difficult knowledge of rising horrors.

Shamanic consultation

PHOTO: Samuele Poletti

Sinja Valley (Western Nepal). 3/19/2016. Sometimes, issues or uncertainties might arise, afflicting the villagers with upsetting worries. So, they go visiting a local shaman (dha¯mi), who will provide a viable solution, taming those very feelings.

Santa Muerte Veneration

PHOTO: Dawn Burns

MacArthur Park, Los Angeles, California. 2016. Santa Muerte is a religious movement that focuses on reconstructing and revitalizing aspects of indigenous culture. It is a fusion of Aztec mythology and Catholic tradition that acts as a response to the pressures of migration and assimilation into the culture of a new environment. The Los Angeles, California neighborhood of MacArthur Park is one of those new environments. This image depicts an altar at Casa De Oracion De La Santisima Muerte, a Santa Muerte temple that is located on Alvarado Street in MacArthur Park. 

Cotton rest

PHOTO: Andrew Flachs

A cotton packer and her son rest on cotton lint while on a break from packing into bales in Warangal, India.