Magnum’s Larry Towell says he has been photographing issues of land and landlessness all his life, so when the protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline garnered national attention, he followed his instincts to head out to Standing Rock. “When you lose your land, you lose your identity,” Towell tells TIME. The photographer has previously documented the plight of of people who have lost their land, including Canadian First Nations tribes, but says the attention to the issues faced by native people in the U.S. had, until now, failed to garner national headlines. “When I saw this happening in the U.S. where I think native issues have been asleep— I thought this would beg an awakening and I think I was right in following my instincts.”
Pearl felt grief, deep grief, over the loss of a creature she’d never once seen in life, a species that had been shot to extinction because European settlers had deemed it vermin. Yet, how do we grieve for extinct species when there are no set rituals, no extinction funerals, no catharsis for the pain caused by a loss that in many ways is simply beyond human comprehension? We have been obliterating species for over ten thousand years – beginning with the megafauna of the Pleistocene like woolly rhinos, short-faced bears and giant sloths – yet we have no way of mourning them.