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Daniella Zalcman on 'Signs of Your Identity' at Columbia Journalism School

Event Date:

November 14, 2016 | 6:30 PM EST
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...

Media file: mike_pinay-1.jpg
For her project 'Signs of Your Identity,' photographer Daniella Zalcman juxtaposed her subjects against something related to his or her experience with Canada's Indian Residential Schools. In 2008, the Canadian government apologized for the residential school system, which eventually a commission officially labeled 'cultural genocide.' 'It was the worst 10 years of my life,' said Mike Pinay, pictured against the residential school he attended from 1953 to 1963. 'I was away from my family from the age of 6 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.

Freelance photographer and Pulitzer Center grantee Daniella Zalcman presents at the Columbia Journalism School on Monday, November 14, 2016 with a focus on her "Signs of Your Identity" project, documenting the stories of indigenous Canadians who attended Indian Residential Schools as a way to force their assimilation.

Using double exposure portraits, Zalcman juxtaposes survivors who are still fighting to overcome the legacy of their residential school experiences with images evocative of their experiences and memories.
"These portraits are my attempt to get to the root of historical trauma," Zalcman says. "Each of these double exposures layers a former residential school student with something related to his or her experience."

Zalcman won the 2016 FotoEvidence Book Award, among other awards, for her Pulitzer Center-supported project, and held a book launch for "Signs of Your Identity" at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York in October 2016.

Zalcman also has worked with the Pulitzer Center to design lesson plans and educational resources connected to "Signs of Your Identity" and facilitated related programs in schools throughout the United States and Canada. Zalcman graduated from Columbia University with a degree in architecture in 2009.

Zalcman's work regularly appears in The Wall Street Journal, National Geographic, Mashable and CNN, among others. She is a multiple grantee of the Pulitzer Center, a fellow with the International Women's Media Foundation, and a member of Boreal Collective.

For more information on Zalcman's project and to order "Signs of Your Identity," visit the FotoEvidence website.

Event with Daniella Zalcman - "Signs of Your Identity"
Monday, November 14, 2016
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Columbia Journalism School
2950 Broadway
New York, New York, 10027


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