Brazil, indigenous peoples and the Amazon territory - a performance beyond expected images.
The whole length of urihi is covered by its mirrors where they play and dance endlessly.
The word yanomami urihi designates the forest and its ground. It also means territory: ipa urihi, "my land", may refer to the enunciator's region of birth or current dwelling region; yanomae thëpë urihipë, "the forest of human beings", is the forest that Omama gave to the Yanomami to live from generation to generation; it would be, in our words, "the yanomami land". Urihi may also be the name of the world: urihi a pree, "the great forest land".
© Photo by Michele Louise Schiocchet.
The future of the Amazon rainforest is at the center of climate change discussions after an ultra-right-wing administration took power in Brazil in January 2019.
This artistic project emerged with the paper "Brazil and the Amazon territory: can global warming agenda save the Amazon?" (submitted for revision). A shorter version of this text is published as a blog post at Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies- Potsdam, Germany. I present a genealogy of different political uses of the Brazilian Amazon territory. It demonstrates how in democratic or conservative administrations, the government has always invested in a civil-military composition to manage the resources, population, and territory in the Brazilian Amazon.
I use Alexander von Humboldt’s concept of “Landschaft” and the historical approach of the Brazilian writer Euclides da Cunha to reflect on the connections between image, science, and politics. The aim is to question the production of official images of the Amazon territory that express colonial heritage based on concepts of growth as progress. The variety of each Landschaft confines our imaginaries. All these confinements have institutionalized the exploitation of nature and populations based on national development promises.
Proposal / Work in Progress
To develop a political dance/performance art project based on the structure and reflections of an paper written by Cecilia Oliveira.
Taking the inspiration from an opera structure, the project is composed by an Overture, three movements and an Apotheosis. Each movement or section is seen as a “Landschaft”, in which a specific image/picture and use of the Amazon is contested.
We aim to explore the possible connections between each intended use and intervention in the Brazilian Amazonian territory, confronting its associated images or portraits that are created to support such exploitation of people and land.
We created this website to present an overview of each Landschaft, our research references and showcase the preliminary results of our experiments in photography, video, movement, and composition.
We collaborated in July 2019 to create multidisciplinary experimentation in art and politics. Combining dance, performance, music, photography, video and theatre, each one of us brought different art background. The entire process opened up for future possibilities to connect with other artists, scientists, and scholars interested in amplifying the current aesthetics debate about the Amazon territory. Our goal is to finalize in 2021 a dance performance combined with installations works and a series of open discussions.
- Cecilia Oliveira studied dance and music in Brazil for 20 years interested in the connections of traditional and contemporary dance. She has a Ph.D. in political science from the Catholic University of Sao Paulo and her research areas are international relations, development, climate change and security studies. At the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies she researches the impact of climate change politics in the Amazon region and leads the research group Democratic Re-Configurations of Sustainability Transformations. The main goal of her current work is to study the dynamics of a rationality of carbon and its effects to the governmentalization process of the Amazon. The intersection between art and science is one of the methodologies used to research these effects.
- Michele Schiocchet lived and worked as an artist and art educator in Brazil, Portugal, Italy, Germany and England. She has dedicated her life to various sectors of art, considering herself an artist and multidisciplinary researcher. She has a Ph.D. in Theater and Performance studies from the Santa Catarina State University (UDESC) and she is interested in researching performance art as a form of resistance. She is currently professor of the Bachelor in arts at the Federal University of Paraná (UFPR Litoral sector).
- Collaborator: Cristiano Meirelles - actor, dancer, musician and researcher of Brazilian Traditional culture. He has a Master Degree in arts and experience in direction, dramaturgy for dance performances and musicals. He is currently working on LGBT and gender plays for children in Brazil.
We would like to thank:
Fabrik Potsdam for the studios and the Art & Climate initiative creator Sabine Chwalisz; Akademie der Kunst – Johannes Odenthal & Gregorio Garcia Karman; Vinicius Giusti and Christoph Ogiermann for allowing the use of fragments of their elektronic Konzert: HADT_SPAZIO; Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies.