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[photo set: 7 frames pulled from a 2003 visual art photo piece by Shelley Niro called, “The Shirt” has a storytelling progression. in the first 5 frames she is wearing aviator sunglasses and a U.S flag bandanna on her head that has stars and stripes on it. in each of the first 5 frames, the text of the shirt changes. the story is as follows, “the shirt. my ancestors were annihilated, exterminated, murdered and massacred. they were lied to, cheated, tricked and deceived. attempts were made to assimilate, colonize, enslave and displace them. and all’s i got is this shirt.” in the 6th frame, though, Shelley is shirtless, without her bandanna and glasses and covering her chest while looking at the camera very perplexed. the final frame is of a white woman with the aviator glasses in her long hair, bandanna around her neck while wearing the shirt that reads, “and all’s i got is this shirt.]


The Shirt by Shelley Niro, 2003.

Niro’s work consists of a connecting series of photographs that should be read together as a whole narrative. The images are set in a pastoral landscape, and each subsequent photograph offers an increasingly incisive statement on the colonization of the land that once belonged to aboriginal peoples.

Shelly Niro was born in Niagara Falls, NY in 1954. She is a member of the Mohawk Nation, Iroquois Confederacy, Turtle Clan, Six Nations Reserve. She is currently based in Brantford, Ontario, and works in a variety of media, including beadwork, painting, photography, and film.

(via virtual museum)

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