Musa | Museu da Amazônia Musa | Museu da Amazônia

Indigenous Amazon

Photographic exhibition by Renato Soares

The exhibition Indigenous Amazon was assembled with 61 large photographic panels (120 x 180 cm) along the white trail of the Musa. The images were recorded over the years by photographer Renato Soares, on successive trips, and portray the indigenous life and culture of the Amazon.

The photographs show everyday scenes of twenty Amazonian ethnicities and are part of a project started by Renato in 2005, in which indigenous images from all over Brazil were recorded. The exhibition opened on April 19, 2022, the day of indigenous peoples, and is presented by Musa in a manifesto defending indigenous constitutional rights and denounces the overbearing and violent invasion of their lands.

This exhibition pays tribute to the famous photographer Maureen Bisilliat.

Manifest: Indigenous Amazon

Co yvy oguerecó ijara” – “This land is owned” – used to say the tupi chief Guairaca in 1600.

In the Amazon, for millennia, indigenous people care for the forest. Everywhere there are marks of their presence, their handling. 

We know today that, in 1500, here lived over 6 million indigenous people, in the forests, rivers and lakes. Today they are 300 thousand.

These people were – and still are – wiped out by violence and diseases, brought by the white people. Diseases for which they still have not developed resistance. 

Let us remember the ‘antibodies’ missed by indigenous and non-indigenous people, to resist Covid.

The devastation of forests, the overbearing occupation of public lands and indigenous territories, still are Amazonian imprints. The mercury contamination of rivers caused by mining and toxicants too. 

One must repair. To respect the lands occupied by the indigenous people. The demarcated and the non-demarcated ones. To uphold the 1988 Constitution’s established rights: to live differently, to speak the languages of their own – there are over 150 –, to preserve the culture, the memory, the habits and beliefs, the fraternity with nature.

The photos being showcased sing joyful moments, among shades and lights, they tell stories. 

Renato Soares, maestro and photographer, listened to them and recorded with rare sensibility. 

On Musa’s trails, dazzled, we see and listen.

Happy for living together.