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TASHENA GIPSON
Photographer

Artist Statement:  This collection of images was inspired by the MMIW/R movement. MMIW/R stands for Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women/Relatives. The symbol of the movement is a red hand, usually across the mouth and face. This represents the systematic silencing of the outcry of Indigenous peoples against a centuries-long epidemic of violence and displacement towards the Indigenous, especially women, children and two-spirit (gender non-conforming) individuals. Red represents both the blood that has been shed by Native communities, the fierce warrior spirit and resiliency of the Indigenous people as well as a reclaiming of the red identity that is often used derogatorily towards Indigenous people. I hope to bring awareness to our cause as well as show all people that we are still here, and we will never stop fighting for our rights and freedoms.

Artist Bio:  Tashena and her husband, David, live and raise their five children together in Omaha, Nebraska. She is a professional photographer and mixed media artist who has been taking photos since she was a child. Tashena received an AAS in Photography, a Certificate in Analog Photography and a Certificate in Digital Photography. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor's in Digital Photography. She formed her original photography company, Tashena BhreAn Photography, in June 2021. Tashena is also an Indigenous activist and creates protest art and photography under the name Omahartivism. Her work has been shown and purchased by the Metropolitan Community College for their private collection displayed on their campuses.

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