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Evan Benally Atwood is a nádleehí Diné photographer and artist born to Ta'neeszahnii (Tangle clan), Áshįįhí (Salt people clan), Naakai Dine'é (Mexican clan), and Bilagáana (English/Welsh)—residing in the ancestral lands of the Chinook tribe (Portland, Oregon). Their work is often intimately personal, yet invites the viewer into the story to reflect and connect. Within the last year, Atwood's work has appeared in TIME, Vice Broadly, and at the Smithsonian Native Cinema Showcase in New York, among others.
Their work has grown with/from the intersection of a queer identity and honoring their ancestral Dinê lineage. Atwood works passionately within the queer, Indigenous feminist communities, documenting stories and uplifting marginalized voices. Their work is driven by thoughtfully documenting using photography and film, with the intent to inspire others in shared communities.
In what ways does nature inspire or inform your work?
To be connected with nature is to accept we are all related to the earth, water, air, fire, and all it’s creatures. It’s then we can speak up and act to protect/nurture her because when she’s being exploited, we feel it. To create from this connection is magical and humbling.
What does it mean to you to be part of a thriving ecosystem?
I’d love to see the ecosystem flourishing, however there are many unbalanced relations with Mother Earth, where the two-leggeds manipulate and disturb the balance and cycles of life. We must awaken to the injustice/mistreatment of the land and lead the next generations into environmental healing.