¡Buen Vivir! Co-Director:
Beginning with the anti-war movement in the early 70s, Langelle’s photographs document social movements spaninng six continents and four and a half decades. He approaches his role as concerned photographer by not merely documenting the struggle for social and ecological justice, but by being an active part of it. This has enabled him to garner the trust of many of the subjects he has documented, allowing him access that would not have been possible otherwise. In this way, he has been able to expose the truth that is so often hidden by the powers of injustice.
Langelle’s work has been published in numerous books, magazines and newspapers. His photographs have been exhibited in many cites in the US, and also Copenhagen, Denmark and Amsterdam, The Netherlands in Europe. He feels highly honored that his work has been shown in indigenous community centers in South America and Mexico. In 2009 his work was exhibited in the Ayoreo indigenous community, Campo Loro, in the Gran Chaco region of Paraguay. This exhibit was a result of an invitation by the Ayoreo Indigenous People to come into their territory to photograph and “share the eye” as the Ayoreo put it—Langelle was the only photographer invited by the Ayoreo in recent years to take photographs of their community and lands. In May 2011, an exhibit of Langelle’s work was in the indigenous community of Amador Hernandez, in the Lacandon jungle of Chiapas, Mexico. Langelle [again] was the first photographer to be invited by that community to take photographs in several years. Langelle has photographed protests at the WTO, World Bank, and from 2004 to 2011 he covered meetings on the inside and protests on the outside of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Climate Change.
Langelle documents a wide range of topics, cultures, ecosystems and geographies. Topics include the struggles of communities, activists, workers and Indigenous Peoples–against racism, war, ecological devastation, climatic disruption, economic domination, human rights abuses and oppression of women. His work is an historical look at social movements, struggle and everyday life. It is designed to counter the societal amnesia from which we collectively suffer—especially with regard to the history of social and ecological struggles. This is not merely a chronicling of history, but a call out to inspire new generations to participate in the making of a new history.
¡Buen Vivir! Co-Director:
Rachel Sikorski, LCAT, ATR-BC
Rachel Sikorski, LCAT, ATR-BC is a state-licensed, nationally registered and board-certified art therapist. Art Therapists are Master’s level mental health professionals, who integrate the visual and creative arts into psychotherapy for individuals of all ages. Often, our emotions and personal experiences can be too complex or difficult to put into words. Utilizing the creative arts in therapy promotes a healing that can be lacking in traditional “talk therapy” approaches.
Rachel has over a decade of experience working with children, teens, adults, and families; providing individual therapy, group art therapy, workshops, and clinical supervision to new clinicians in the field of art therapy. Rachel is a founding member and webmaster of Art Therapy Buffalo, a professional group of art therapists whose mission is to advocate for increased awareness and access to professional art therapy services in the Buffalo-Niagara communities of Western New York. The members of Art Therapy Buffalo gather monthly to make art for self-care, network, and plan for community education and advocacy activities. Rachel also serves as Social Media Marketing Secretary on the board of the Western New York Art Therapy Association (WNYATA), a local chapter of the American Art Therapy Association (AATA).
Rachel created a partnership with Orin Langelle and ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art, serving as co-director and curator of art therapy-based programming at the gallery. The mission of art therapists and of the gallery align: ¡Buen vivir! means life in harmony between humans, communities, and the Earth–where work is not a job to make others wealthier, but for a livelihood that is sustaining, fulfilling, and in tune with the common good. The work of art therapists, similarly, is to help individuals from diverse populations create and have access to opportunities for change, better managing and expressing the struggles of everyday life, as well as inspiring new generations to participate in the making of a better world. Rachel hopes to offer opportunities for the community to continue to come together at the gallery to engage in dialogue, create, educate, and advocate for change. Groups will be offered at the gallery for adults and children, and exhibitions of art-therapeutic content by art therapists, client-artists, and community members alike will be featured during the calendar year.
Tess Ipolito is the Media Coordinator for Global Justice Ecology Project and The ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery. Tess holds a Master’s Degree in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management from the New School in NYC.
Before joining the GJEP team, Tess has been an advocate for social and environmental justice through her work and volunteering globally. She has done research on critically endangered primates and volunteered on reforestation and educational projects in Madagascar. She has done research on and educated communities about organic waste alternatives to coal use in Uganda as a means of both financial empowerment and a reduction to serious health issues caused by smoke inhalation. While in Uganda, Tess also spent time focused on finding justice for communities displaced by palm oil (and other monocrop) plantations forced into the slums of Kampala. While in NYC Tess volunteered on clean air and water community outreach projects. And over the years, she has been dedicated to protecting wildlife, resource management, and land conservation within the United States and abroad.