WHEN ART WAS ALL WE HAD
And All We Had Was Art
Digging The Scene
With A Gangster Lean
Douglas Miles shoots first.
I’m Thankful that Miss America is Indian
I don’t care What Tribe she is.
She’ll always be Miss America to me.
TRUE Style Can’t Be Bought.
True style don’t ever fade
True style can set the tone for the times
Style is often born out of real need.
True style always sets you apart
From crowds, trends, and the fakes.
Sometimes you stand alone in it.
These Apache Kids deserve a narrative not co-opted by the institutionally racist pop culture empire. A world free from buffoons, clowns and inappropriation. Please help these Apache desperadoes as they attempt to have fun every day.
The Photography Of Douglas Miles was formed in the crucible of San Carlos Arizona.
I don’t shoot stereotypical photos of Native people. My photography is a focused and specific statement on the raw oft overlooked ignored power of Native women, men and youth. Images of tribal people like mine are ignored by the Native Art market/field/media in favor of the romantic, cliche and sweet. I’m not following a trend nor pandering to the mainstream for acceptance, pity or publicity. Nor do I shoot photos of poverty, depression or isolation. Though we face myriad challenges in Indian Country, our people need no more exploitation. Our own tribal narrative is of extreme importance in a society that has attempted to define who we are in our complexity.
Artists like myself create constantly and with purpose. We engage, communicate and address/discuss issues at hand in our art. My work is now entering its 25th year extending into film, skateboarding, photography, writing, directing, producing, acting, product design and brand management.
Recently a pseudo-Native website of questionable repute lifted, borrowed and stole a photo turning it into a cheesy meme with no credit. “Sikkest Natives” has shared this thousands of times without my permission. I don’t allow use or editing of my work without express written permission. Tumblr art shares are okay because they are tracked back and credited. Lynnette Haozous ( originally photographed as Lozen in the “Apache Chronicle” film in San Carlos Arizona) and I have repeatedly addressed the issue with them. I’ve photographed her many times over the years. This site continues to use the my photo (attached).
Some of these so-called Native websites also exploit and objectify Native women. These websites subliminally promote violence as an answer to community problems which is juvenile and often in poor taste. We can do way better than what these pseudo “Native” sites promote. By SHARING this post you can send a message that this is unacceptable.
Douglas Miles imagines the power of
photography, type, text,
handstyles and The Word
to be like a prayer set aloft
In Guadalupe Arizona on a Summer day.
Because I was Apache,
Because I was
Because I was free inside and out.
They wanted what we had.
Wanted to stop what we had become.
And the people knew.
From The Gulf to The Plains.
We did things the Apache Way.
Empty smiles was what they wanted.
Because we wouldn’t take their government sanction
They wanted me bound.
I was myself.
IT’S WHAT WE NEED
I AM the cipher,
I AM the builder of my own history.
We are the creators of the Hard life
I do not , you do not,
We do not need
A museum to tell our (his) Story.
A nice tidy tale.
Just a little self respect is what we need
(not selfish disrespect)
An Ability to type 20 words per minute
A tumblr page caps locked
Is what we need
And your smile that melts all
Your killer smile
Holding your beautiful mind
As a weapon destroying
Patriarchal intellectual Hatred
Masquerading as creative tribal support
Is what we need
We are the movers of mountains of grief.
Being sold for a block of Touristy
Until now because I was Blind,
I can see.
FROM TSAILE WITH AN APACHE SKATEBOARD MEMORY
Ammbreya came from Tsaile on the Navajo Nation to San Carlos AZ last week.
She had an Apache Skateboard and a story to tell.
Se said her friend gave it to her awhile back.
He told her she looked like the graphic design on it.
Her family came with her to San Carlos to pay last respects to a relative as well that day.
She asked me to sign it since I’m the designer.
Her friend won it at a skate comp we ( Apache Skateboards ) held in Window Rock in 2010 .
I remember him because he won 3rd place that day. From the looks of it he wore it down.
Razelle Benally directed a film that day which is now on YouTube titled:
“Apache Skateboards at Navajo Nation Fair 2010”
She then told me her friend that won the skate deck passed away in September.
Suicide is not painless. Nor is it ever an answer. This moved me because I remembered that day and the fun we all had holding the event and giving out prizes, tees and boards.
You never know the influence you have on a community until someone tells you.
We’ve decided then to hold another skate competition
on the Navajo Nation in his honor. Ammbreya suggests we do it when it warms up
in Spring at Chinle Skate Park. We love Dinetah.
Look for us soon.
If you want to support us,
let me know and drop us a line.
Thanks Ambreya, Apache Team and most of all Derrick.