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

Mary Bronner, Elinor Cramer, Kathryn Davis, Margrit Diehl, Barry & Barbara Gordon, Diane Grafly & Paul Pearce, Tarki & Joe Heath, M. Russell & F. Marion Lee, Donna & Phil Muhs-McCarten, Deirdre Neilen, Harvey & Dorothy Pearl, Deborah Rose, Gary & Mary Salibrici, Carmen Viviano-Crafts, and Mary Ann Zeppetello

Joseph Carpenter & Richard Odom, Annemarie Deegan, Beth Drew & Joe Marusa, Edgewood Gallery, Chris Flynn, Nirelle & Allen Galson – In Honor of Robert Colley, GEGENSATZ PRESS, Sam Gruber, Ruth Heller & Bennet Schaber, Nancy & Bruce McCoy, Sarah Stewart McIlvain, Shirley & Larry Novak, George Savage, Craig Schlanger & Rosemary Welch, Ellen Schwartz, Vince Sgambati, Sharye Skinner, Syracuse Antiques Exchange, Ann Tiffany & Ed Kinane, Ron VanNorstrand, Shaila Wood & Ramesh Gaonkar, and Amy Zamkoff – In Memory of Rae Kramer

Bousquet Holstein PLLC, The Dorothy & Marshall M. Reisman Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, WRVO, Caroline Cargo, Therese A. Deegan, Ann Jamison, Mary Khun & Dave Thomas, Nancy & Bruce McCoy, Rick Olanoff & Susan Wadley, and Carolyn Stark & John Przepiora