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Symbols of the fight

In the final years of the dictatorship, when the indigenous movement had begun to gain momentum in Brazil, the Xingu established itself as the emblem of this fight. With two decades of demarcation behind them, the population in the territory had grown, and traditional ways of life had strengthened. At the beginning of the 1980s, protests in communities calling for rights drew attention across the country.

During redemocratization, the example of the Xingu was decisive in terms of a historical victory: for the first time, the 1988 Constitution included a chapter dedicated to indigenous rights. During the negotiations, Raoni Mẽtyktire and other leaders of the Xingu went to Brasilia to make their position clear. Present at those negotiations, writer and activist Ailton Krenak says that the Xingu inspired the demand for more demarcation: “It’s as if they said to us: ‘It can’t be anything less than this.’”

This inspiration continues until today, with the rise of a new generation of leaders, such as the Xingu women’s movement. And these fights are now being documented by communicators within the territories themselves, as is the case of filmmaker Kamikia Kisêdjê.