Opening Reception: Saturday, April 13, 1pm
Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Nation Basketball: Photographs by Alana Paterson opens at The Polygon Gallery Saturday, April 13, produced in collaboration with the Capture Photography Festival.
Over the past few years, BC-based photojournalist Alana Paterson has become deeply invested in issues of gender inequality and women’s civil liberties. Paterson’s recent works focus on women’s empowerment through sport, particularly young women at the beginning of their careers. Currently, women represent only 7% of sportspeople seen, heard, or read about in the media, and only 4% of sports coverage focuses primarily on women. Paterson’s images shed light on this disparity while celebrating women’s strength and resilience in a male-dominated field.
For her most recent project, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Nation Basketball (2018), Paterson was invited to shoot the young women’s half of the Junior All Native Basketball Tournament (JANT), held in Vancouver in 2018. The tournament is made up of over 83 teams from 50 nations. JANT serves to empower its team members and reinforce that they are strong, resilient young people and talented athletes.
After working closely with the team over the past year, the artist has captured each team member's energy, portraying them as direct, playful and fierce. Paterson's images work to empower young Indigenous women, in light of the dark history of colonization and continuing racism. The project both captures a visual identity of Indigenous women through sport and revitalizes the sense of strength, perseverance, and passion for which Indigenous "Warrior Women" are renowned.
Images from Paterson's series will also be on view at the Stadium-Chinatown Station on the Skytrain in Vancouver as part of the Capture Photography Festival, until 2020.
Saturday, April 13 at 1pm: Opening Reception
Every Saturday at 2pm: Weekly exhibition tours
Images: Alana Paterson, from the series Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Nation Basketball, 2018