Tom Torlino Timeline
This installation and digital timeline is meant to expand upon the little that is known about Tom Torlino. 1882 is the year Tom Torlino enters the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania. The school’s goal was to eradicate the traditions and culture of Native American students and assimilate them into white societies to ensure their success. The most well known photograph to come out of this time in American History is the before-and-after portrait of Tom Torlino, which appears as a success in the school’s mission and a binary representation. It affirms the loss of indigenous people and denies them as a still existing and sovereign people.
Through photo restoration and manipulation, I change the association this photograph as. It may no longer be associated with a singular historical event of transforming Torlino from a ‘savage’ to a ‘civilized’ individual.
Most importantly, it speaks to the imbalance of power in telling history. By taking on the institutional, museum-like, display of presenting these moments in history, viewers are able to see history from both sides, and question the authenticity of what they’ve been taught in school.
The online Torlino timeline, still being added to and modified:
Tom Torlino Timeline Online