NDNZ in the City: Multi-media Narratives of American Indian Culture in the Heart of Los Angeles, California
Join us for an evening of talk, short films, photographs, and personal stories from Indigenous multimedia documentarian, Pamela Peters (Navajo). The evening’s event will showcase Peter’s newest film Legacy of Exiled NDNZ and multimedia presentation Real NDNZ re-take Hollywood. Pamela’s work stands against prevalent stereotypes of American Indians in popular culture by pushing viewers to critically analyze the psychological and historical structures of Native American in mass media.
Legacy of Exiled NDNZ discusses the historical US policies of relocation of Indians to urban establishment and the legacy it has created to today. It provides a narrative of seven native adults currently living in Los Angeles. Shot in a neorealist visual aesthetic reminiscent of Kent Mackenzie’s 1961 film, The Exiles, we catch a glimpse of the group of urban Indians living their hopes and dreams in the city.
Real NDNZ re-take Hollywood showcases native adults in photographs to disrupt and decolonize clichéd portrayals of Native actors. The series “re-takes” and creates classic, iconic portraits of movies stars of yesteryears by replacing those past film icons with contemporary Native American actors. The project shows real Indian actors in the elegant clothes and iconic poses of James Dean, Audrey Hepburn, Tony Curtis and others from the classic period of Hollywood films – rather than in the buckskin, feathers, and painted faces featured in most Hollywood films of Indians.
Pamela J. Peters is an Indigenous multimedia documentarian born and raised on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona. Her current multimedia project, Legacy of Exiled NDNZ began as a short film that has expanded into a full-length documentary along with an ongoing multimedia component about the history of American Indians living in Los Angeles. To date, she has spoken at USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, UCLA, California State Polytechnic University, Pitzer College, Cal Arts, UC-San Diego, UC-Riverside, UC-Irvine, Occidental College, Northwestern University and University of Oregon.
Her work presents personal stories of contemporary urban Indians in photography and film to commemorate the legacy of the Indian Relocation program, a U.S. federal program enacted to assimilate American Indians in the 1950s. Her short film Legacy of Exiled NDNZ premiered at the Los Angeles Short Fest, and continues to be screened at short film festivals nationally and internationally. Legacy of Exiled NDNZ photo essay was exhibited at 118 Winston Street Gallery, and Venice Arts Gallery as part of the Summer Juried Exhibition: “Ecotone| Boundaries, Tensions, Integrations.”
Her mission is to combat the idea of the static, stereotypical Indian portrayed so pervasively in all media. She wants people to know that Indians are many nations with many stories. Pamela’s portraits stand against prevalent stereotypes of American Indians in popular culture. Having grown up on the reservation in Arizona her experience of Indian life was not reflected in popular culture. She made it her dream to produce authentic portraits and stories of the persistence of Indian life in contemporary contexts. As a storyteller, she develops photographic narratives that illustrate the real stories of American Indians within their communities. Her goal is to represent the beauty and complexity of their lives in their personal settings, and to humanize them in a way rarely done in mass media. Through her work, she intends to re-appropriate harmful stereotypes.
Pamela’s multimedia work reflects the perseverance of American Indian cultural identities today. She produces living portraits of American Indians reflected through an indigenous aesthetic lens. Pamela works as a culture consultant and native talent referral for many networks such as: FX, Comedy Central, HBO and MTV. She has also professionally produced five award winning films for the Southern California Indian Center’s InterTribal Entertainment multimedia program, co-created film workshops for Native youth, produced PSA’s for Fox Studio’s American Indian Summer Institute program, and co-hosted “Bringing the Circle Together,” a monthly showcase of Indigenous documentaries at the Japanese American National Museum National Center for Preservation of Democracy Tateuchi Forum in Los Angeles.
Pamela’s work pushes viewers to critically analyze the psychological and historical structures of Native Americans in mass media. Pamela has a BA in American Indian Studies and Film Television from UCLA.
Location and Time
Sateren Auditorium, Music Hall, 715 22nd Ave South
Screening begins at 7:00
Discussion with filmmakers follows
This event is free to the public
Thank you to our sponsors: Augsburg College, American Indian Studies Department, Augsburg Indigenous Student Association, Augsburg’s Marginalized Voices in Film and Media, and the Institute for Global Studies at the University of Minnesota.
For parking permits contact M. Elise Marubbio at firstname.lastname@example.org. Permits are limited in number.
For parking directions visit: http://www.augsburg.edu/about/map/. You will be parking in Lot L off of 35th between Riverside and Butler Pl. You will need a parking permit.
If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to the Augsburg Native American Film Series or this project, please send your checks to:
Augsburg Native American Film Series
Augsburg College, CB 115
2011 Riverside Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55454