BISMARCK, ND – A photo of Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg at a Native American reservation in North Dakota has been archived at the Library of Congress in Washington.
Shane Balkowitsch, who took the photo, preserved the image on a glass plate and titled it “Standing For Us All.” Balkowitsch told the Bismarck Tribune that it’s his “most important work to date.”
The photo shows 16-year-old Thunberg looking into the distance during a visit to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. It was preserved using a method known as “wet plate collodion,” which involves wetting glass with various chemicals before inserting the plate into a camera and developing the photo.
“I wanted to give nature its due respect on the plate,” Balkowitsch noted.
The photographer said the image “wasn’t supposed to happen,” but it’s the one that Thunberg chose to share with the world. Thunberg posted it on Twitter when she left North America on Nov. 13.
Balkowitsch had heard Thunberg would be at the reservation and made plans to meet her there, since she wasn’t able to come to his studio. He recalled being told he only had 15 minutes.
Library of Congress visitors can request to view the plate. Balkowitsch said the plate will outlast any other printed photograph of Thunberg because it's made using silver, which does not fade over time.
"This plate will be here long after her and I are gone," he said.
Another image, a close-up Thunberg’s face, will be featured at the Swedish History Museum in Stockholm.
Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com