alibi online
Free Will AstrologyAlibi's Personals


Navajo Photographer Don James Captures One Nation, One Year

“Self Portrait in MV...conclusion of my One Year One Nation Project”
Don James
“Self Portrait in MV...conclusion of my One Year One Nation Project”

Each time Navajo photographer Don James saw professional portraits of his tribe, he sighed—not in reverence, but in hopelessness.

For the glossy prints, mostly depicting ceremonies and cultural icons, failed to capture the daily life of the Navajo people.

So he began his project, a yearlong journey into the Navajo Reservation, a space occupying parts of New Mexico, Arizona and Utah, to tell the real stories of Navajo Nation. Equipped with only his truck, sleeping bag, camera, and a few changes of clothes, James set off on what would become a life- changing experience.

His final work is presented in his book One Nation, One Year, and each colorful photo is accompanied with a short explanation about the subject, and the day and time at which it was taken. The photos are arranged in chronological order, from February 8, 2008, the beginning of his trip, to February 4, 2009, the day he left the reservation. The official book release party took place last night at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, and there’ll be another at the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, Ariz., on July 13, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The book is available at major bookstores.

Determined to gain that insider’s perspective, the Albuquerque resident put himself on a $100 per week budget—which would cover food, lodging and gas. He hitchhiked around the reservation and spent nights with his subjects. Though most people welcomed his project, a few did not. As James told it at the book opening, he approached his 73-year-old grandmother for a picture. She was shearing her sheep to sell the wool at the market. Instead of praising his project, she became annoyed and huffily demanded that he put the camera down and come and help her with the sheep. She later cried with joy when she saw her picture in his book.


  • Select sidebar boxes to add below. You can also click and drag to rearrange the boxes; close using the little X icons on each box. To re-add a box you closed, return to this menu.
  • Because you are not logged in, any changes you make to these boxes will vanish as soon as you click to another page. If you log in, the boxes will stick.
  • Latest Posts
  • Web Exclusives
  • Recent Classifieds
  • Latest User Posts
  • Most Active Users
  • Most Active Stories
  • Calendar Comments
  • Upcoming Alibi Picks
  • Albuquerque
  • Duke City Fix
  • Albuquerque Beer Scene
  • What's Wrong With This Picture?
  • Reddit Albuquerque
  • ABQ Journal Metro
  • ABQrising
  • ABQ Journal Latest News
  • Albuquerque
  • NM and the West
  • New Mexico FBIHOP
  • Democracy for New Mexico
  • Only in New Mexico
  • Mario Burgos
  • Democracy for New Mexico
  • High Country News
  • El Grito
  • NM Politics with Joe Monahan
  • Stephen W. Terrell's Web Log
  • The Net Is Vast and Infinite
  • Slashdot
  • Freedom to Tinker
  • Is there a feed that should be on this list? Tell us about it.