Maria Thereza Alves

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Pira he, ongoing art practices to decolonize contemporary art history in Brazil.

“Pira he” is an artwork in process which consists of texts, actions, talks and workshops with indigenous young people and teachers in Brazil. We confront contemporary art which is mainly coded and evaluated through the dominant Eurocentric view. Alves has interviewed several internationally recognized indigenous artists as well as curators, critics and thinkers who have suggested which of their own works or texts to include in the reader that has been made to accompany the workshop. It is through discussions and exchanges of knowledge and knowledge systems, including culture and contemporary art that the artwork forms - a long process of living research on contemporary cultural practices. “Pire he” attempts to decolonize contemporary art history in Brazil.

Some projects realized in the last years within "Pira he":
→ Aldeia Jagupirú, Dourados, Mato Grosso do Sul, workshop
→ Aldeia Pyau, Terra Indigena Jaraguá, São Paulo, workshop
→ Aldeia Kallipety, São Paulo, workshop
→ The workshop at UFSCar for indigenous students in the CCE (Centro de Convivência Indígena/Indigenous Peoples Center), Sorocaba, São Paulo, resulted in the students being invited by SESC, Sorocaba to be partners in coordinating a cycle of conferences and talks: Povos Sagrados: Expressões Indígenas. The students have requested that Alves return a second cycle with them.
→ Amaaiac, (Associação do Movimento dos Agentes Agroflorestais Indígenas do Acre Rio Branco/Association of the Agro-forest Indigenous Agents Movement in Acre Rio Branco), Acre, talk.
→ The “Decolonzing Brazil” workshop held in the Terena Aldeia Limão Verde resulted in a conference poster for the São Paulo Biennale of 2016 which was seen by an organizer of the first symposium of Psychology and Social Commitment and as a result Naine Terena was invited to speak. PUC University São Paulo. March 20–22, 2017 (see also in People & Projects on Alves website)
A Mão do Povo Brasileiro, unpublished typoscript, São Paulo 18.9.2016. Some time after this essay by Alves was sent to MASP, Jera Guarani was invited to speak at the museum on questions of Cultura e Educação indígena (15 de julho 2017).
Canibalismo no Brasil desde 1500 / Cannibalism in Brazil since 1500. Text by Alves published in: Fórum permanente, revista #4, Sao Paulo, Brasil, 2013
Text (PDF English)
Text (Portuguese Online)

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