Water Is Life Brings Together Law and Art in New Exhibit

Two University of Washington School of Law student organizations have brought the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) protest to life in a new photography exhibit. The Water is Life exhibit - or Mni Wiconi in Lakota - documents Native American protesters working as Water Protectors at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation.

In honor of Native American Heritage Month. the University of Washington Native American Law Student Association (NALSA) and Advocates for the Arts (AFTA) partnered to “celebrate and feature the strength and character shown at the ‘Stop DAPL’ encampment,” stated the call for submissions.

From over 300 submissions, 12 were selected for exhibition at the law school in the Jeffrey and Susan Brotman Galleria.

Anthony Aronica, NALSA president, said that while building awareness is part of the exhibit’s goal, it is also “about tying it to action, to see substantial change.”

Water is Life continues AFTA’s work to bring diverse artwork to Gates Hall. Historic photographs of Martin Luther King Jr., shot by photographer Bernard Kleina at a 1966 protest, were hung during Diversity Week last year.

“These photos connect with the larger human rights issues of the time, and ties back into our work as advocates,” said Jessica Burrus, AFTA president.

Water is Life will be on display through winter quarter 2017.