The Red Road Project is a fresh and candid collection of stories + photographs that explore the relationship between Native American people and their identity today. Our partnership as a photographer and writer duo makes for a multi-dimensional and engaging collaboration. Carlotta’s photographs capture the vivid story of the people we meet, while Danielle’s direct connection to Indian country offer an insider perspective.
Segregated at the bottom of society, Indigenous people in America have fought against stereotypes and the on-going attempts to see their cultural traditions, practices and language vanish. Dismal life expectancy, drug & alcohol addiction, sexual abuse, poverty, crime and the highest suicide rates in the country are just some of the issues American Indians face generation after generation. Time after time, these seem to be the only topics highlighted about these people in main stream media. However, it’s quite incredible just how resilient Native American people are and the inspiring stories we continue to capture through The Red Road Project prove just how hard the current generation is working to make a positive difference for their people. Our mission is to educate and pass on these stories to anyone that is willing to listen.
As Jean Houston once said, “If you keep telling the same sad small story, you will keep living the same sad small life”. Through The Red Road Project we will stop telling the same sad story and start inspiring positive change.
Our project’s name is dedicated to the Native concept for “the good path” that should be followed in life, an idea shared with the spiritual teachings of many other Indian nations. The people we’ve met and photographed follow this “red road” in some way, rising above to be role models to their people and their way of life.
To date, we have traveled several states (driving more than 15,000 miles around the USA), documenting inspiring stories of Native American people. We’ve met spiritual leaders, teachers, activists, pageant winners, students, artisans, musicians, community workers, tribal police officers, environmentalists, doctors and the list goes on.
One of our early phases of the project was published by Marie Claire Magazine in 2014. It circulated in several editions around the world. Shortly after, it caught the attention of CNN.com and NBC / Comcast. It has also been exhibited in London and Rome. A more expansive version of the project was featured as a stand-alone exhibit at Fonderia 20.9 gallery in Verona, Italy in November 2015.
In the spring of 2015 our project continued with attendance at the Gathering of Nations. We have participated in various speaking engagements in Indian communities around the U.S., and continue to collect more inspiring images and stories of both men and women. We hope one day bring our project back to Native American communities around the country.
We invite you to reach out to us if you have interest in speaking to us about our project or even becoming part of our project.