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Pulitzer Center Update September 29, 2016

'Signs of Your Identity' at New York's Photoville 2016

MIKE PINAY, Qu’Appelle Indian Residential School (1953-1963).“It was the worst 10 years of my life. I was away from my family from the age of six to 16. How do you learn about family? I didn’t know what love was. We weren’t even known by names back then. I was a number.” Image by Daniella Zalcman. Canada, 2015.

For more than a century, many Western governments operated a network of Indian Residential Schools...

The Pulitzer Center exhibited Daniella Zalcman's award-winning photography in "Signs of Your Identity," at Photoville 2016 on the Brooklyn waterfront. Zalcman's work explores the legacy of Indian Residential Schools in Canada.

As Zalcman explains in the introduction to the exhibit, "For more than a century, the Canadian government operated a network of Indian Residential Schools to forcibly assimilate Indigenous youth into white Canadian society. Indian agents would take children from their homes as young as two or three and send them to church-run boarding schools where they were punished for speaking their native languages or observing any indigenous traditions, routinely sexually and physically assaulted, and in some extreme instances subjected to medical experimentation and sterilization." Canada had residential schools until 1996, and it was not until 2008 that the Canadian government issued its first formal apology.

The Pullitzer Center's Photoville 2016 "Signs of Your Identity" exhibit of Zalcman's photographs gave visitors a chance to view the survivors and read their own words, in a series of landscapes and double exposures. In addition to the prints, the container used a projector to illuminate Zalcman's double exposure process. This year, more than 83,000 people came out to see the 60-plus Photoville exhibitions under the Brooklyn Bridge. Zalcman was present most of the week at the Pulitzer Center container, which also was included on the Photoville walking tour.

Multiple publications wrote about Zalcman's work at Photoville 2016. She was included in American Photo's "10 Outstanding Documentary Photography Projects to See at Photoville 2016." The Village Voice included work from "Signs of Your Identity" in "The Most Striking Images to Check Out at Photoville." Siddhartha Mitter wrote, "Her images, in black-and-white, are elegant and elegiac; the interview excerpts that serve as captions are punches to the gut."

James Estrin of The New York Times LENS Blog included two of Zalcman's images in his post, "Under the Brooklyn Bridge, the New Photoville". Zalcman also was mentioned in an article by L'Oeil de la Photographie on Photoville 2016, which also marked the fifth anniversary of Photoville.

Zalcman's work from the exhibit will be published in a book "Signs of Your Identity" available this October, which may be ordered at


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