From the other side of the lens
In the images created from the 1940s onwards, when the presence of photographers became more frequent in the Xingu, a scene played out again and again: of an indigenous person with a camera. The gesture appeared in various contexts – distrust, curiousity, fun – but with one constant: there was no evidence of images being produced by indigenous peoples.
This scenario began to change at the end of the 20th century, with movements such as the project Vídeo nas Aldeias. Founded in 1986 to document indigenous culture, it began to offer audiovisual training in 1997 with a workshop in the Xingu. We have exhibited here one of the works that was produced on that occasion: Xingu News.
Audiovisual production circulated through the initiative of the Xingu people themselves, such as Pirakumã Yawalapiti (1955-2015), a leader who from the 1990s filmed assemblies, festivities and rituals. Two examples of this documentation serve as a glimpse into a vast collection, digitized by the IMS.
Today the Xingu is a hub for indigenous audiovisual production in Brazil, with emphasis on documentary approaches. Commissioned films encompass themes central to this production: the preservation of memory and the value attributed to cultures, the fight for rights, and defense of the environment.