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From the archives to the community

Ever since the end of the 19th century, images produced by non-indigenous people have framed the way in which the peoples of the Xingu were seen in Brazil and the world. Here these images are confronted by works produced in recent times by indigenous authors who, in expressing their perspectives, reveal gaps, contradictions and the violence of historical representations.

Archives also have their gaps. Old images of indigenous peoples were archived with little or no information about the people, places and situations portrayed. And many of these records were never seen by those depicted.

The images gathered together here have gone through a process of identification with support from the Associação Terra Indígena do Xingu (ATIX) [Terra Indígena Xingu Association], which represents the 16 local ethnicities, of which ten are represented in this exhibition: Ikpeng, Kalapalo, Kamaiurá, Kawaiweté, Khisêtje, Kuikuro, Mehinako, Trumai, Waujá and Yawalapiti. Leaders of neighboring peoples were also consulted due to their historical links with the territory: Bakairi, Kayapó and Xavante.

Based on the information collected, updated captions have been created which will be continually updated as and when relevant details come to light. The requalification of the IMS archives continues beyond the lifetime of the exhibition, understood not as the conclusion of this process, but rather as the opening of a dialogue with the peoples portrayed.