TRAILS + TRIALS
Image © 2022 Maxar Technnologies, USDA /FPAC/ GEO
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Wounded Knee is a small cemetery and a memorial in the midst of the vast grasslands of Pine Ridge Indian reservation.
On Google Maps, the contours of the Wounded Knee site are drawn in red. Quite a remarkable drawing. . . made by Google.
Two major historical events had occurred in that place. First, in 1890, about three hundred Lakota people had been massacred on that spot by soldiers of the United States army. Second, in 1973, the site was occupied by a group of Oglala Sioux and followers of the American Indian Movement in protest against the treatment of Indian people in American culture and society. Federal military forces immediately encircled the community. The siege lasted 71 days. Several locals lost their lives.
Trails + Trials is a series of 20 large-scale drawings that I produced together with Elisabeth Krecké. The images are based on press photos that covered the 1973 incident as well as fragmental transcriptions of trials, judicial reports or legal cases in which some of the protagonists were involved. Creating drawings of scenes from political and/or judicial events linked to the Wounded Knee shoot-out was a way for us to recall the legitimate nature of these locals' fight against abuses and injustice.
For this project, we chose the visual form of 1970s superhero comic-style drawing, precisely to highlight how difficult it can be to untangle the relationship between war and truth, decades after events took place.
We had the chance to meet some of the surviving instigators of the 1973 Wounded Knee incident while we were on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in the summer of 2010.
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Trails and Trials (The Wounded Knee Siege)
Drawings © Carine and Elisabeth Krecké, 2012