Photographer embedded at pipeline protest says camera can be ‘tool of hope’

Sitting backstage as he waited to deliver a presentation at TEDxRapidCity on Wednesday afternoon, Josue Rivas laid out what he sees as his personal mission in the aftermath of the fight against the Dakota Access pipeline: to empower indigenous youth with photography.
“We all have a voice,” he said. “Wouldn’t it be more powerful to be heard in the crowd? But then maybe, you’re not supposed to be heard in the crowd. Maybe you’re supposed to make your own crowd.
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I want less photos from (photojournalist) Aaron Huey and more photos from kids in Pine Ridge.”
Rivas is a Mexica photographer from Los Angeles who traveled to Cannon Ball, N.D., in August 2016 to document the indigenous-led movement against the Dakota Access pipeline near the border of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. He remained embedded in the main Oceti Sakowin resistance camp for six months, until law enforcement shut it down in late February of this year.

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