The Yanomami are one of the largest Indigenous groups in Amazonia, with an approximate population of 54,000. One of their principal spokespeople is Davi Kopenawa, a shaman and leader of his community on the Río Catrimani, in the northern part of Brazilian Amazonia. In 2013, together with Bruce Albert, Kopenawa published The Falling Sky: Words of a Yanomami Shaman, a revolutionary narrative on the origins of the Yanomami people and his interpretation of the destructive behavior of those he calls the “People of Merchandise.” His knowledge and the struggle of his people constitute the guiding thread for this exhibition. Andujar visited the Yanomami region and the Río Catrimani for the first time in 1971, an encounter that would become a lifelong commitment to its people.

The first section of this exhibition presents Yanomami society and its cosmovision as it was in 1970, through Andujar’s photographic work, the visionary words of Kopenawa and films and drawings created by Yanomami artists. Little by little, the direct, black-and-white photos of the early years give way to more interpretive and transcendent images, enriched by the use of infrared film, color filters and other visual experiments.


The second part presents a detailed account of the Yanomami conflict and struggle as they have played out since the Brazilian military dictatorship launched an anxious offensive to colonize Amazonia. Two distinct types of images structure this narrative. On the one hand, a series of photographs reveals the trauma and despair caused by the illness and death of thousands of natives following the coming of capitalist enterprises and massive migration to the region. On the other, there are images used to facilitate medical assistance and improve health conditions in the territory. The presentation of these images continues to be object of profound mourning among Yanomami communities.


This exhibition presents a significant selection of Yanomami art and a contribution to reinforcing the struggle for the sovereignty of Indigenous peoples. At a time in which violence in Amazonia and the global climate crisis continue to dominate headlines, this project also aims to show that the protection of the environment depends on the continuous struggle for social justice and that art can be a powerful tool for reaffirming the knowledge of Indigenous peoples across the world.


Artists: Claudia Andujar, Davi Kopenawa, Aida Harika, Poraco Hiko, Morzaniel Iramari, Mariana Lacerda, Joseca Mokahesi, Orlando Naki uxima, André Taniki, Edmar Tokorino, Vital Warasi, Ehuana Yaira, Roseane Yariana, Forensic Architecture.
This exhibition is organized by the Instituto Moreira Salles, the Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, MUAC, UNAM, and the Museo Amparo, in collaboration with Hutukara Associação Yanomami and Instituto Socioambiental.
Curation by Thyago Nogueira of the Instituto Moreira Salles with guidance from Davi Kopenawa, shaman and president of Hutukara Associação Yanomami, curatorial assistance from Valentina Tong and curatorial coordination from Jaime González Solís.



Claudia Andujar y la lucha Yanomami

Authors : Claudia Andujar, Marcelo Araújo, Joâo Fernandes, Thyago Nogueira, Valentina Tong

Language : Spanish

Editor: MUAC, UNAM/Fundación Amparo I.A.P.

Price: $400