“I want them to be happy,” says Moscow-based photographer Igor Samolet of the band of teens and twenty-somethings he met three years ago while visiting the small town in which he went to school. He was drawn to them immediately, to their recklessness and resilience, their courage and their confusion. Be Happy! is his tribute to their adventures, their booze-soaked evenings spent sprawled naked on the floor, and the adolescent dreams and impulses and sensations that animate their youth.
Framed by the door of a tipi, Leota Eastman-Iron Cloud watches her kite float in the air at the Oyate Wahancanka Woecun camp outside of Ideal, South Dakota. Translated into english, the camp’s name means “Shielding the People” in the Lakota language. The place was installed to protest the Keystone XL pipeline and for prayer. The pipeline is proposed to cross the Rosebud Reservation at this location.
A row of feed bunks leading along the driveway to Rosemary Kilmurry’s house. The pipeline is proposed to cross several sections of the Kilmurry property including this location. February 2014
Since the Canadian company TransCanada petitioned the United States government in 2005 to approve the expansion the Keystone oil pipeline from Alberta’s tar sands into the heart of Steele City, Nebraska, the potential of the Keystone XL has loomed heavily over our country. For those of us not living directly on the land through which the pipeline would run, it seems like a relatively simple debate, with the liberals opposing its construction on the basis of environmental concerns and conservatives supporting it in hopes of a bolstered economy. When Toronto-based photographer Kate Schneider set foot on Nebraskan and South Dakotan land, however, she discovered something far more complex: a community of apolitical ranchers and Native American peoples banding together in protest against the Keystone XL, commonly referred to as “black snake.”