Native Futurist

Cara Romero

CARA ROMERO’S IMAGES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN OBSESSED with, as she puts it, viscerally representing Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultural memory, collective history, and lived experiences from a Native American female perspective.

Originally, she wanted to be an anthropologist but was dismayed by academic and media portrayals of Native Americans as “bygone.” Her photographs, she says, do more in images than anthropology did in words.

And now she’s taking it a step further, documenting the “modernity of Native peoples, illuminating Indigenous worldviews and supernaturalism” in the future.

You are working in Native Futurism now.

Yes, it’s an incredible new genre that’s coming out of communities of color. It’s tightly tied to social and racial justice. As native people, we’ve had to struggle to pull our representation out of the past to just be in the present.

But now, there’s this idea that you’re not just surviving, you’re not just in post-apocalyptic survival mode, but you’re actually imagining your race and your culture as healthy in the future. Unfortunately, to this point, we haven’t imagined ourselves in the future. It hasn’t really been explored.

So we’re changing that, creating Latin Futurism, Indigenous Futurism. We’re talking about something beyond a fusion with Star Trek; we’re creating something original and, in my case, something more feminine. We’re moving from traditional tribal vernacular all the way to the future.



Photo Povi Romero