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Aaron Huey on Shattering Assumptions

“I think great photography … wakes people up to the diversity of the world and to the lives that are so different than our own.” —Aaron Huey

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Stanley Good Voice Elk, a heyoka, burns sage to ritually purify his surroundings. From the August 2012 National Geographic story “In the Shadow of Wounded Knee”

Aaron Huey believes in photography’s “power to undo your assumptions about the world.” In Huey’s first story for National Geographic magazine, “In the Shadow of Wounded Knee” he explored the lives of the Oglala Lakota people on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. His assignment evolved into a seven-year community storytelling project dedicated to sharing more voices from the Pine Ridge community members. Huey has given a TED talk, was a 2012 Stanford Knight Fellow, and has been honored multiple times by Pictures of the Year International and World Press Photo. —Julia Wall, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

This video portrait was produced by National Geographic magazine in partnership with the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. It is part of an ongoing series of conversations with the photographers of the magazine, exploring the power of photography and why this life of imagemaking suits them so well. Learn more about the making of the series and watch the full trailer here.

Follow Aaron Huey on his website and on Instagram.

Video Production Credits
Photography: Aaron Huey
Producers: Pamela Chen, NGM
Chad A. Stevens, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Associate Producer: Elyse Lipman, NGM
Editor: Julia Wall, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Camera and Sound: Spencer Millsap, NGM
Shannon Sanders, NGM

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