Interviewer: Why do you photograph?
Tahila: Media making is a conduit for change. In conscious creation and documentation are the opportunities to share, combat fear, and communicate with the individual and the world community. The image maker is the warrior that can go to the front line of a war, as well as into a love story, or a dying family members bedside and translate that emotion and moment into a means of amplifying the knowledge and meaning contained in that experience. Within an image or images is a story, and as we know with oral and visual stories, we are activated in our hearts, our minds, our memories, our spirits. There are voices that need to be heard and stories to be told.
As an indigenous woman, my work focuses on engaging in paradigm shifting towards ancestral systems of matriarchy and gender equilibrium, contemporary indigenous issues in a post-colonization culture, and the work of re-membering the strands of knowledge that have been unraveled by colonial interventions. I also create work surrounding the re-generation of relationships with the natural world. My intentions in creating photographs, collages, videos, and interactive pieces of/and in reference to indigenous peoples’ is to witness the truths, wisdom, struggles, medicines, life, death, community, traditions, post colonial shifts and acknowledge the peoples still standing.
Tahila Mintz has been photographing for more then 20 years, living and working throughout the Americas, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. She is a contract photographer, videographer, and educator — nationally and internationally. She has worked several years as a university lecturer of photography and educating program managers in the field on media tools, strategies, and branding. Her personal art work focuses on women, indigeneity, diaspora living, guardianship, ceremony, tradition, and the environment. It is exhibited nationally and internationally. Within Texas Tahila is represented by CAMIBAart galelry.
Tahila received her MFA from the University of Texas, her BA from American University and studied at FAMU in Prague, while apprenticing with Karel Cudlín.
Her documentary film project is a work in progress but has preliminary viewable sections online . EXPLORE THE DOCUMENTARY FILM PROJECT.