Kate Schneider

Kate Schneider is a Toronto-based photographer and educator. Her work is based in the traditions of documentary storytelling and ethnography, and her most recent works focus on the impact that land, and the socialized landscape have on individual and cultural identity in North America. Kate was recognized by the Magenta Foundation’s 2013 Flash Forward competition, and has a forthcoming solo-exhibition at the SoHo Photo gallery in New York. She received her MFA in Documentary Media from Ryerson University (2009) and her BS in Photojournalism from Ohio University (2004). She is an Instructor of Photography at OCAD University and the University of Guelph-Humber.

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Dear President Obama,
…The air, earth, and water, which sustain us, have no voice. As stewards of the land, we are very aware of our surroundings and the footprints we leave behind. We must speak for the land. We ask you to protect our nation, the earth, air, and water. Reject the KXL pipeline.
Sincerely, Bonny Kilmurry

“The Kilmurrys are not your average environmental activists. Wearing a uniform of Wranglers, snap-button shirts, and cowboy hats, the family is more reminiscent of Little House on the Prairie than eco-activism.

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On their 6,000-acre ranch in the Nebraska Sandhills, Richard and Bonny Kilmurry live a seemingly simple existence that belies their quiet intelligence and fierce independence. When the Kilmurry family received a letter from the TransCanada Corporation in 2012 stating that their ranch could host a portion of a 1,833-mile tarsands oil pipeline, the apolitical family, who was by nature distrustful of environmentalists, found themselves on the front-lines of the Keystone XL pipeline protest movement. This reluctant environmentalism is not unique to the Kilmurrys. The KXL movement aligned groups who were previously segregated and perhaps even antipathetic – liberal environmentalists, conservative ranchers and farmers, and Native Americans – to fight for the rejection of the proposed “black snake.”

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We, The Heartland looks at the diverse face of the Keystone XL pipeline protest movement in Nebraska and South Dakota, and the cultural landscape along the KXL route. This project intersperses landscapes along the proposed route with portraits of protestors and their handwritten letters to President Obama. The landscapes point to the cultural complexity found in the prairies, and the unseen threat that the KXL poses to the land. From the words and faces of the front-line activists we see their unwavering commitment to protect the water, land, and cultural heritage of the heartland. What emerges is a unique look at how the environmentalism movement is morphing in the twenty-first century.”

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To view more of Kate’s work please visit her website.



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