On the National Language: The Poetry of America's Endangered Tongues features some of the few remaining speakers and students of nearly 100 endangered languages living in the United States, photographed in concepts stemming from single words in those languages that do not translate easily into English. Concepts, which are intentionally poetic, are developed in collaboration with the speakers- almost all of whom come from what are by definition traditionally marginalized groups- returning agency and power to those fighting to preserve, maintain, and grow an imperiled foundation of their respective cultures. The project's main goal is to raise awareness for these languages and their revitalization initiatives.
The artist is an endangered language speaker and additionally of distant Monsiyok (Lenape) descent. This project is created and developed with the assistance and consultation of dozens of indigenous nations, as well as both Native and diasporic cultural organizations.
Featured in a six month solo exhibition at the Skirball Cultural Center curated by Vicki Phung Smith and Sarah Daymude. Awarded the 2022 fellowship in photography from the New York Foundation for the Arts and grants from the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation.
A finalist for the 2022 Meitar Award for Excellence in Photography, the project was also a recipient of a residency at Millay Arts, and medaled in the Prix de la Photographie Paris 2023 and earned the Los Angeles Center for Photography's 2022 'best new exhibition' prize.
On the National Language is produced with the assistance of the Tribal Trust Foundation, a 501(c)3 dedicated to the preservation of indigenous cultures and wisdom through philanthropy and education.