Teen life on the Rez

Christine Yuan and Phil Carter capture images of Navajo youth under the sunblasted sky

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Colin aka GAWDS Phil Carter

The Navajo Nation is the largest Native American reservation in the US: roughly the size of Ireland, it covering 27,425 square miles, it occupies northeast Arizona and parts of Utah and New Mexico. It's home to just under 180,000 members of the Navajo people. "The Rez is both an extremely beautiful and desolate place," says photographer Christine Yuan. "There is so much life there, yet at the same time, a huge lack of resources."

In college, Yuan found herself tutoring a few Navajo teenagers, eventually helping to build Project Pueblo, a youth centre that gave kids a place to hang out and chill after school. In an area where the nearest cinema or skate park could be hours away, it turned into a refuge for bored teenagers like Colin aka GAWDS, the subject of Yuan's short for AG Rojas's TRIBUTE documentary series. Yuan and Phil Carter's images of life on the Rez capture the teenage thrills of Navajo kids as they tag abandoned shipping units and skate under a sun-blasted Arizona sky. 

You can watch GAWDS below: 

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