Water & Land Preservation in the High Desert of New Mexico

new mexico • Karen Miranda Rivadeneira


About the project

Karen will collaborate with Rivers and Birds, an organization which focuses on water, land rights, preservation, education, and community empowerment, to document and challenge how fracking contaminates water in Taos. Water is a major issue in the American southwest due to the varying ways water usage is regulated. As a result, indigenous people and communities of color are disproportionately impacted by lack of access to fresh, clean water. To educate the next generation about these issues and deepen their respect for the land, students will participate in in-depth workshops to photograph and document water issues. Karen will also create a series of black and white images on which leaders of the movement native to the area will draw, paint, or collage. The resulting exhibition of Karen’s and the student’s work will be presented in heavily trafficked outdoor venues in Taos along with information about water contamination and actions people can take to limit or end fracking. 

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About the Artist

Karen Miranda Rivadeneira is a photographer based in Taos, New Mexico. Her projects investigate identity and intimacy by threading personal and collective narratives centered in Indigenous myths, animism, memory, oppression, and nature. Karen collaborates with Native communities and relatives, working with the Mam, an Indigenous group on the Mexico/Guatemala border, the Mandaeans, an ethnic group from Iraq and Iran living in Sweden, the Waoranis in the Amazon, and with communities in the Andean Mountains. Her work has been featured in the Smithsonian Museum, the Museé du Quai Branly Biennial, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and at the FotoFest Biennial. She was also selected by the Musée du Quai Branly as an artist in residence (2016), nominated for the Greenpeace photo award, and was a participant in the Latin American forum in São Paulo, Brazil.