Addressing Her Lost Child … And Her Own Lost Childhood
Rosalyne Mathias, 60, crushed by emotions, hugs the tree that grows at the exact spot where she had a miscarriage forty-three years ago. After many sexual aggressions between the ages of 15 to 17, she became pregnant. She returned to the site with the hope of finding peace.
Marc-Andre’s photo is from an ongoing project that documents the daily life and realities of First Nations of the Laurentian Forest of Quebec, including the Anisnabegs (Algonquins) of Winneway.
The Anishnabegs have never given up any rights to their lands, but are excluded from decisions about the use of their traditional lands. The resulting negative feelings have been passed on to younger generations, causing anger and a lack of empowerment, and a culture of broken spirit. With the loss of land access, they also lost cultural references, language and values. Poverty, unemployment, and use of drugs and alcohol are among the social issues that are the foundation of violence and self-destructive habits in their community. As part of their healing process, to break the generational cycle and to protect younger generations, Anishnabeg men and women like Rosalyne are starting to talk. “But are we ready to listen? To learn, and change?” asks Marc-Andre.
Photo Sensitive is a non-profit collective of photographers committed to using black-and-white photography to address social issues. PhotoSensitive’s new exhibition, Picture Change, is a Toronto-based show dedicated to highlighting the ways that photography makes a difference in the world by provoking action, reflection, or even a change in a policy or law.