Photographs are stories: the look in someone's eye, a gesture, an expression, a sunset. Imagery suspends time and memory, acts as a kind of witness. Photography allows us to transcend space and time. A photograph transports us in this way.

I hear people's stories and am honored to share them with you. The images on these pages tell stories of people. Of what is and was, of life lessons, stories of legend, of transformation, of tradition, of hopes and dreams, of loss...now more than ever the world is changing faster than we can document. Over the last two decades of wandering and work, I realize that I am in a unique position to merge my photography and research findings together to expand the depth of what I have witnessed and share a dynamic story forward to others. 

 

My work increasingly focuses on places where rivers are threatened and ecosystems and people who have customs and cultures traditionally connected to those places are likewise threatened. On rivers all over the world people are losing rights to land and water, forests make way for agriculture, wild rivers are tamed to generate electricity, pollution has impacted our climate and this has changed the rain, snow and temperature from the tropics to the tundra. Governments and people have done this through engineering and development. I document and preserve stories from critical places and traditional communities as the transitions happen.

I like to hear people's stories and am honored to share them with you. The images on these pages tell stories of what is and was, of life lessons, stories of legend, of transformation, of tradition, of hopes and dreams, resistance, loss...now more than ever the world is changing faster than we can document. Over two decades of wandering and work, I find I am in the unique position to merge my photographs and scientific research together to share the dynamic story forward of what I have witnessed. 

Preserving these river stories is now central to my work.  

~ Jennifer Veilleux, PhD, 2016

Collections

Native Nations Rise

Indigenous Rights Demonstration

Tribes from across North America descended on Washington, DC in March to declare their rights under the UN Convention for Indigenous Rights to land, water, and security.

Inauguration 2017 and Women's March

Washington, DC

January in Washington, DC saw public action including the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump, Occupy Inauguration, and the Women's March. 

Standing Rock and Oceti Sakowin Water Protectors

These portraits are of water protectors Indigenous People and their Allies from Standing Rock, Oceti Sakowin, Sacred Stone, and Rosebud Camps. 

Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, Benishangul-Gumuz, Ethiopia

Portraits of people in Gumuz Communities prior to displacement by the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in the Blue Nile Valley, Benishangul-Gumuz State, Ethiopia. Images include locals engaged in traditional river-related activities such as fishing, farming, and mining for gold. Locals no longer have access to these places or resources depicted due to GERD's resulting reservoir. 

Number of people displaced: Approx. 20,000.

Xayaburi Dam Project, Sayaboury Province, Laos, PDR

Portraits of people in Lao and Khmu Communities prior to partial displacement by the Xayaburi Dam Project in Sayabouri Province, Laos, PDR. Images include locals engaged in traditional river-related activities such as fishing, farming, and mining for gold. Many locals no longer have access to farming, fishing, and mining areas due to Xayaburi's resulting reservoir. 

Number of people displaced: Approx. 4,000.

Lower Mara River Basin, Tanzania

Portraits of people in Kuria Communities in the Lower Mara River Basin, Tanzania. Images include local farmers, fishermen, miners, and local leaders engaged in community activities and/or meetings. Development is planned for the local communities in the Mara Wetlands to construct a dam and irrigation scheme through World Bank assistance. 

Number of people to be displaced: Approx. 11,000.

Portraits of The Balkans

Life in 2005

Images captured using my first digital camera, a Sony Cybershot DSC-W1.

Anywhere, USA

Photographing flowers and trees taught me my first lessons about light and shadow. 

Architecture

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© 2015 by Jennifer Veilleux

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