Kill the Indian, Save the Man: Stories from the Uniformed
Bishop Romero Ortega
The Indian boarding school uniform’s sole purpose was to strip the Indigenous child of their cultural identity by wrapping them in Western culture and put them in-line with American society. It’s a symbol of the United States policy to “Kill the Indian, Save the Man.” Incorporating historical research and materials from Duke University’s archives, this installation tells the story of Duke’s missing uniforms.
Bishop Romero Ortega, a documentarian and conceptual artist from Phoenix, Arizona who tells stories primarily through film and photography but also works in various kinds of mediums. Currently lives with his wife and 4 children in Cary N.C. where he is in the final year of the MFA Experimental Documentary Arts program at Duke University. As a Documentarian and Artist, I am seeking to tell stories in Non-Western and European ways. Stories of people and events forgotten and not talked about, in order to ask questions and raise awareness. These stories have no intended political slant or affiliation. I try to avoid social fads and causes that easily burn out and are quickly replaced by the next trending movement. It is my hope to create work that allows people to slow down and think, before responding.
In keeping with Duke University’s COVID-19 plan which includes instituting a series of social distancing practices to protect the health and continuity of the community, the public events, performances, and screenings for the MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts Spring Thesis Exhibition have been postponed to the Fall 2020 semester. Updated information and schedule details will be posted here, and additionally at mfaeda.duke.edu and across MFA|EDA, Duke Arts, and exhibition venue social media platforms.