Maria Thereza Alves

 
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A Possible Reversal of Missed Opportunities / Uma possível reversão de oportunidades perdidas, 2016

6 conference posters:
3 conference posters (English version, à 200x147 cm), as results of workshops with indigenous peoples who had the possibility to imagine a decolonized Brazilian future.
3 pôsteres das conferências (versão português, cada 200x147cm) que foram resultados de workshops com povos indígenas que tiveram a possibilidade de imaginar um futuro de un brasil descolonizado.


In July, Alves held 3 workshops in Brazil in indigenous communities to realize the work A Possible Reversal of Missed Opportunities for the São Paulo Bienial 2016.

“I was in Rio Branco to begin, A Possible Reversal of Missed Opportunities, a new work for the 32nd São Paulo Bienal. This work has as its starting point the consistent exclusion of the indigenous voice in contemporary society in Brazil thereby denying agency to indigenous communities in contributing to the making of a truly multi-ethnic society. Only in the last decade or so have indigenous students been welcomed (perhaps that is too strong a word), let me be more clear, have not been prevented from attending institutes of higher education although indigenous languages remain officially unrecognized and excluded. A Possible Reversal of Missed Opportunities began with a workshop where the indigenous participants proposed to develop a series of hypothetical conferences on various subjects which are of current interest to them. They are hypothetical conferences because they will never take place.
The end result of this work is a series of posters advertising the conferences. The posters are back-dated a week before they are put up to give the impression that the event has already occurred. The posters will be distributed throughout the city in which this workshop takes place and displayed in universities, institutions and public spaces.
The posters place the conferences as an ‘accomplished fact’ in Brazilian society allowing to notice the immense possibilities of discourse and exchange which are not taking place due to the exclusion of indigenous voices in all fields of contemporary thought in Brazil. It is hoped by this action that public awareness might be enhanced to see it as normal that indigenous thinkers and their particular knowledge are essential to the making of Brazil.
I have written on the need to decolonize Brazil but non-indigenous Brazilians insist that we are actually ‘Post-Colonial’. Bobbi Sykes, an indigenous activist, has stated about the ‘post-colonial’ nomenclature, ‘What? Post-colonialism? Have they left?’ In Brazil, clearly they have not left and insist that they are the voice of authenticity for all cultures and histories in Brazil.
The participants in the workshop discussed decolonization for schools, literature, history, technology and society.”

Alves_Name sta_project text (PDF English)

You can download all 6 posters via the following 6 links:
poster download_Systems of Knowledge (PDF English) // poster download_Sistemas de Saberes (PDF Portuguese) //
poster download_Decolonization (PDF English) // poster download_Descolonizando (PDF Portuguese) // poster download_Survivance (PDF English) // poster download_Survivencia (PDF Portuguese)

All three “conference" posters displayed at UFMS (Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul) in Aquidauana, where the workshop was held on the Terena Reservation.

All three “conference" posters displayed at UFMS (Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul) in Aquidauana, where the workshop was held on the Terena Reservation.

All three “conference" posters displayed in Aquidauana, where the workshop was held on the Terena Reservation; Photo: Naine Terena

Local shop with all three conference posters in the town of Aquidauana in Mato Grosso do Sul where the workshop was held on the Terena Reservation.

Survivance Poster at the local school on the Jaguapirú reservation in Dourados, Mato Grosso do Sul

Poster at the Federal University of Acre campus for the Interdisciplinary Systems of Knowledge "conference" organized by Manchineri, Apurinã and Shanenawá participants in Alves's A Possible Reversal of Missed Opportunities

Photo: Tiago Baccarin / Fundação Bienal de São Paulo

Photo: Tiago Baccarin / Fundação Bienal de São Paulo

. Workshop on Decolonization "conference" at the Limão Verde Terena Reservation in Aquidauana, Mato Grosso do Sul.

. Workshop on Decolonization "conference" at the Limão Verde Terena Reservation in Aquidauana, Mato Grosso do Sul.

. Workshop on Decolonization "conference" at the Limão Verde Terena Reservation in Aquidauana, Mato Grosso do Sul.

. Workshop on Decolonization "conference" at the Limão Verde Terena Reservation in Aquidauana, Mato Grosso do Sul.

. Welcome to the workshop on Survivance "conference" with participants from the Jaguapirú Guarani/Kaiowá Reservation in Dourados, Mato Grosso do Sul.

. Workshop on Survivance "conference" with participants from the Jaguapirú Guarani/Kaiowá Reservation in Dourados, Mato Grosso do Sul.

. Maximino Rodrigues with Mr. Benites and family on their plot of retaken land (demarcated lands which have been stolen and are now retomadas/retaken by the community) on Jaguapirú Guarani/Kaiowá Reservation in Dourados, Mato Grosso do Sul. They must now wait for a decision from the Brazilian judicial system.

. Workshop on Survivance "conference" with participants from the Jaguapirú Guarani/Kaiowá Reservation in Dourados, Mato Grosso do Sul.

. Bus to the town of Bandeirantes in Mato Grosso do Sul. Bandeirantes are men who stole land and resources from indigenous peoples and enslaved, raped and killed them. In Brazil, they are celebrated. Stores, products, television and radio stations, streets, roads and highways, as well as schools and even a town are named after them. They are honored with a national holiday on November 14th.

. Squatting on the edge of land between the highway and fenced in cattle ranches and plantations owned by Brazilians, Indigenous peoples await judicial rulings on the return of their lands.

. Squatting on the edge of land between the highway and fenced in cattle ranches and plantations owned by Brazilians, Indigenous peoples await judicial rulings on the return of their lands.

. Trees which have been uprooted and gathered to be burnt in the process of clearing land for raising genetically modified soy and maize in large plantations in Mato Grosso do Sul.

. Guarani/Kaiowá families participating in “retomadas” (retakings) of land stolen from the Jaguapirú Reservation stolen by Brazilians.

. Guarani/Kaiowá families participating in retomadas (retakings) of land stolen from the Jaguapirú Reservation stolen by Brazilians.

. Squatting on the edge of land between the highway and fenced in cattle ranches and plantations owned by Brazilians, Indigenous peoples await judicial rulings on the return of their lands.

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