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Erb (Cherokee) began focusing his art studies on animation
when he decided to produce a short film of a traditional Cherokee
story in the Cherokee language with English subtitles. After receiving
his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania,
Erb returned home to Oklahoma, where he combines his several loves-art,
traditional storytelling, language preservation and the teaching
of children. His Muscogee Creek and Cherokee students have produced Native-language animations, learning both new technology
and their own traditional culture. Erb's company, Blackgum Mountain
Productions, is a subsidiary of the non-profit American Indian Resource
Center in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.
"The kids really are able to teach you more than you teach
them, if you allow the kid to actually use what's inside of them.
Instead of trying to show them what you know, try to figure out
what they know and develop that. You allow them to be the creator
of the work; you just implement their ideas.
"It's always controversial because at least in this area
we have still around 9,000 speakers of the Cherokee language,
all over forty. When you go twenty miles away in a different direction,
words are said differently. The criticism is something I actually
value because it starts a conversation and then it starts the
Presentado por NMAI
Fotográficos: Joseph Erb - gentileza