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Emily Schiffer: Cheyenne River Photo Essay Featured in The Washington Post

Schiffer 2017

Cheyenne River, Emily Schiffer’s (MFA 2016) 12-year photography project about childhood on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota, was recently featured in The Washington Post.

From June 12 to July 18 of this year, The Washington Post partnered with Visura in an open call for submissions of photo essays. The Post selected three winners out of more than 200 submissions. We are presenting the first winner today here on In Sight — Emily Schiffer and her work Cheyenne River.”

Schiffer’s work stood out because of its strong, poetic, elegant aesthetic combined with a real sense of intimacy that give the images, and the project as a whole, emotional weight. Cheyenne River” is a project begun 12 years ago, focusing on the young people of Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota. Schiffer describes the project as follows:

In 2005, I founded a photography program for young people on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota. My students and I photograph together and are all subjects of each other’s work. Our favorite locations are the fields and abandoned buildings on the fringes of town, forgotten places thick with the past that lend themselves to imaginary games and textured photographs. Children have a unique ability to experience love, joy and pain simultaneously, without compartmentalizing their experiences. I aim to convey this complexity. My images explore play as a vehicle through which youth reveal and negotiate their emotions, histories and desires.”

Playful and poetic: The children of the Cheyenne River Reservation | The Washington Post