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Maureen Bisilliat

Born in England and a resident migrant in Brazil from 1950, Maureen Bisilliat had already traveled the country as a photojournalist when she was invited by Orlando Villas Bôas to produce a reportage in the Xingu in 1973. She would return several times over the course of a five year period.

A photobook emerged from these experiences, Xingu: território tribal (1978) [Xingu: Tribal Territory], and a film, Xingu/terra (1979) [Xingu/Land], revealing to the public the vitality of indigenous cultures in demarcated territory. Her friendship with cacique [chief] Aritana Yawalapiti was forged during this time and lasted until his death from covid-19 in 2020.

For this exhibition Maureen has selected a range of classic portraits, drawn from the monumental record she sought to create with the book, together with other previously unseen images, more intimate in tone. She also presents a video of a conversation with Aritana at the Xingu in 2003.