BEN ALTMAN – I Own This Stolen Land

June 8, 2024 to July 20, 2024


In 2021 photographer Ben Altman and his wife bought 38 acres of land next to their home in rural Danby, NY, to prevent logging and development. He recognized that the title to this beautiful land originated in genocide. More than two hundred years ago the Gayogohó:nǫˀ (Cayuga), one of the Six Nations of the Hodinǫhsǫ́:nih (Haudenosaunee) Confederacy, were violently and fraudulently dispersed from the homelands they had occupied and nurtured for over 10,000 years. Despite two centuries of genocidal repression and cultural suppression they remain resilient, but live almost entirely in diaspora, in Oklahoma, Ontario, and scattered across North America.

I Own This Stolen Land is a multidisciplinary project that seeks to acknowledge and take responsibility for the theft of the land; understand the natural systems, economic pressures, ecological stresses, and options for stewardship of the site; invite Gayogohó:nǫˀ people to visit and to undertake traditional and arts activities, building trust between them and communities in Tompkins County, NY; and develop scalable models for cooperative access to ancestral land.

SUSTAINING SPONSORS: Walter Putter & Marilyn Smith

Cynthia Bowman, Mark Briggs, Mary Bronner, Elinor Cramer, Kathryn Davis, Carolyn & Paul Frymoyer, Barry & Barbara Gordon, Diane Grafly & Paul Pearce, John Haritatos, Tarki & Joe Heath, Aggie Lane, M. Russell & F. Marion Lee, Judy & William Licker, Lorraine Morganti, Donna & Phil Muhs-McCarten, Deirdre Neilen, Harvey & Dorothy Pearl, Deborah Rose, Ursula Rozum & Frank Cetera, Gary & Mary Salibrici, Sharon Sullivan, Carmen Viviano-Crafts, Howard Walsdorf & Marna Bell, and Mary Ann Zeppetello

Joseph Carpenter & Richard Odom, Annemarie Deegan, Margrit Diehl, Christine Flynn, Nirelle & Allen Galson – In Honor of Robert Colley, GEGENSATZ PRESS, Mike Greenlar & Linda Bogart-Greenlar, Ruth Heller & Bennet Schaber, Mary Kuhn & Dave Thomas, Joe Marusa & Beth Drew, Jeremy  McKay, Lauren & Walter Melnikow, Shirley & Larry Novak, Lleni Pach, George Savage, Craig Schlanger & Rosemary Welch, Ellen Schwartz, Vince Sgambati, Sharye Skinner, Syracuse Antiques Exchange-Richard Jaeger, Ann Tiffany & Ed Kinane, Mary Traynor, Paul Welch & Sharon Dettmer, Shaila Wood & Ramesh Gaonkar, Ron VanNorstrand, and Amy Zamkoff – In Memory of Rae Kramer

Anonymous, Donald Blair & Nancy Dock, Bousquet Holstein, Caroline Cargo, Therese A. Deegan, Edgewood Gallery, Sam Gruber – In Memory of Dik Cool, Sandra Hurd & Joel Potash, The DUKE Malavenda Foundation, Inc., Sidney Manes & Amy Zamkoff, Nancy & Bruce McCoy, Sarah Stewart McIlvain, Rick Olanoff & Susan Wadley, The Dorothy and Marshall M. Reisman Foundation, Robert Sarason & Jane Burkhead, Mary Stanley, and Carolyn Stark & John Przepiora