The Red Road Project by Carlotta Cardana

Carlotta Cardana is an Italian portrait and documentary photographer based in London. She took on photography while working as a producer in a circus academy and eventually moved first to Argentina and then to Mexico City, where she started freelancing as an editorial and commercial photographer. Her recent personal work explores the issues of belonging and community, whether among young Italians living abroad, couples from the Mod subculture or modern American Indians.

Her approach to portraiture privileges the subject’s experience and stresses the relationship between people and their environment. In 2013, she was named “Discovery of the Year” at the Lucie Awards. She was also among the winners of the New York Photo Awards, the PDN Photo Annual, the Exposure Awards and the Association of Photographers Open Awards. She was shortlisted for the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards.

Hi Carlotta. You explain that ‘The Red Road’ “explores not only the hardships of the culture, but aims to highlight tribal members that are rising above to be role models to their people.” How did you set about trying to capture this on camera? Where did the inspiration for the project come from?

The project is a collaboration with a very close friend of mine, Danielle SeeWalker, who’s the writer on the project and she’s Lakota from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North Dakota. It all started from a casual conversation over a glass of wine, where she was telling me about a few ceremonies coming up for some of her relatives. We realised that there’s a lot in the media about all of the problems and the issues that Native American are experiencing, but we felt there wasn’t enough coverage of how beautiful and rich this culture is and mostly of what it’s like to be Native American in the 21st century. We both wanted to learn more about the culture so we decided to start a journey that would allow us to meet people that are doing great things for their communities. I approached the project as an opportunity to learn and grow, both professionally and personally. The more I work on it, the more I realize I still don’t know much about it!

To read the full interview, please visit the World Photography Organisation website.

The World Photography Organisation produces a series of exclusive interviews with the winners of The Fence annually.