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Some of my favorite people out there right now : a mix of friends, collaborators and beautiful strangers 


(One) _ Nadya Kwandibens ★ _ 

Ojibwe/ Anishinaabe _ Photographer


Some sites to check out :


Artist statement :


''We, as Indigenous people, are are often portrayed in history books as Nations once great; in museums as Nations frozen stoic; in the media as Nations forever troubled. These images can be despairing; however, my goal seeks to steer the positive course. If our history is a shadow, let this moment serve as light. We are musicians, lawyers, doctors, mothers and sons. We are activists, scholars, dreamers, fathers and daughters. Let us claim ourselves now and see that we are, and will always be great, thriving, balanced civilizations capable of carrying ourselves into that bright new day."


From her site :


"Kwandibens' photos actively depict the Indian with passion and integrity. She captures an Indigenous spirit (individual and collective) and resuscitates characters overshadowed by the burden of false impression. Her aesthetic, whether shot in black and white or color, is cinematic. Her portraits carry personal and collective strengths forward and create lasting impressions."

- Ryan Rice
Aboriginal Curatorial Collective

A dynamic photographer, specializing in artistic natural light portraiture, fashion, promotional sessions and event photography, Nadya Kwandibens is of Ojibwe and French heritage from the Northwest Angle #37 First Nation. Identifying mainly with her Ojibwe roots, Nadya is also known as Makoons and is from the Loon Clan.

In 2000, Nadya began exploring photography and for several years, while working professionally in numerous forms of media including video production, and radio, has gathered the experiences necessary to easily connect one-on-one with people and groups. July of 2006 marked the beginning of her portraiture work; and since then, she has been travelling extensively, photographing people and events throughout Canada and the United States. She has worked for several groups and organizations including the: National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, Association for Native Development in the Performing Arts, imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival, Tecumseh Native Arts Festival, Georgian College, Native Earth Performing Arts, Centre for Indigenous Theatre, Thunderstone Pictures Inc., and the Manitoba Audio Recording Industry Association; as well as over 70 individual artists, actors, musicans and role models.

Her photographic work has been seen on the cover of SPIRIT Magazine, and within the pages of SAY Magazine. She has been featured in Red Ink Magazine, and was invited artist-in-residence for the Native American Indigenous Cinema & Arts online exhibition. She has also exhibited in several group and solo shows in: Toronto Ontario, Seattle Washington, Cleveland Ohio, Boulder Colorado, and St. Charles Illinois.

In October 2008, she founded Red Works Studio, a photography company that empowers contemporary Indigenous lifestyles and cultures through photographic essays, features, and portraits.

In addition to her photographic endeavours, Nadya finds creative release through web/ print design, traditional beadworking, music and writing. Her immediate goals include: continuing work on her series "Concrete Indians"; securing studio space plus a store-front for Red Works Studio in Toronto; developing photography workshops that instill self-empowerment, pride and vision within Native youth; travelling across Canada to visit, interview and photograph Native elders; developing a photography and poetry book; and exploring her music. She currently resides in Toronto, Ontario.



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