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B.A. Van Sise – First Place Winner

On the National Language

In “On the National Language”, the photographer – who specializes in the intersection between poetry and the visual image- works with speakers of America’s roughly 100 endangered languages to create poignant images that reflect not only the subjects but their underlying languages and cultures. Many of these speakers are among the very last still alive. Subverting the traditional relationship of photographers and subjects- in which the image-maker takes control of the image- it is fully collaborative in both concept and execution with these speakers, who often come from cultures that are historically tokenized, giving them back control of their portrayal in their defense of their imperiled cultures and histories.

Images captioned in the following format:
LANGUAGE | speaker | location where photograph made word in endangered language rough translation into English