Maria Thereza Alves

Recipes for Survival
Seeing you

To See the Forest Standing


To See the Forest Standing, 2017

19 channel video installation with 34 interviews with agroforestry agents
Video length in total 183 min., color and sound
19 tables, benches and monitors, dimensions variable
Benches designed by labinac, Berlin

In July and August of 2017, Alves interviewed 34 agroforestry agents participating in the Centro de Formação dos Povos da Floresta in Rio Branco, Acre in Brazil. A place for experimentation as well as the exchange of ideas and techniques for more efficient agro-forestry methods on indigenous lands, particularly for areas which have been heavily deforested and destroyed, usually for cattle ranching, by the non-indigenous. The participants come from various reservations throughout the state of Acre and are from different indigenous peoples, such as the Huni Kuin, Shanenawa, Asháninka, Shãwãdawa, Yawanawá, Katukina, Nukini and Poyanawá peoples. All have survived genocidal campaigns first by the Portuguese and then Brazilians. The participants, all community leaders, are selected, not by the Center but rather by their communities for participation in this programme. They are responsible through community consensus for managing reforestation, sustenance farming, overseeing animal life, protection of water sources, environmental education program and protecting the land from destruction. Some of the reservations, particularly those where major highways were planned to deliberately divide up reservations lands, have continuous problems, with gold miners, cattle ranchers, hunters, loggers and settlers. The forest agents are not recognized by the Brazilian government and receive no regular income for their labor and yet they are the front line for ensuring the possibility that Brazil and the larger world might have a future. As Poá Katukina, the newly elected president of AMAAIAC (Association of the Movement of Indigenous Agroforestry Agents of Acre) says, "We have dedicated ourselves to seeing that the forest stands."

To See the Forest Standing was commissioned by and first installed in the exhibition "Disappearing Legacies: The World as a Forest" at the Cenak Hamburg (Center of Natural History at the University of Hamburg. The show will travel to Tieranatomisches Theater, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Zentralmagazin Naturwissenschaftlicher Sammlungen at Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg.

All statements/interviews of the Agroforestry Agents of the State of Acre as single screen videos below. Click on names for watching:

Banê Huni Kuin People

Busã_Edimar Huni Kuin People

Siã Shanenawa People

Muru_Edmilson Huni Huin People

Mashã Huni Kuin People

Kakã Huni Kuin People

Dasu Huni Kuin People

Yube Huni Kuin People

Shamya Huni Kuin People

Tene Huni Kuin People

Keã Huni Kuin People

Pya ko Asháninka People

Siã_Raymundo Huni Kuin People

Busê_Marcos Shanenawa People

Isaka Huni Kuin People

Maná e Ibatsai Huni Kuin People

Yuvãna Shãwã Shãwãdawa People

Tmaii Yawanawá People

Kaku Nupikuin People

Pupua Nukini People

Yãki Huni Kuin People

Muru Huni Kuin People

Yura Shawã Shawanawá People

Katê Shawã Shawanawa People

Xindu Poyanawá People

Yawa Kushu Yawanawá People

Ninawá Huni Kuin People

Shawã Dxuyda Shanenawa People

Siã_Valmar Huni Kuin People

Poá e Nawa Sharu Nuipikuin People

Naximar Huni Kuin People

Paka Katukina People

Zézinho Yube Huni Kuin People

Yaka Shãwãdawa People
Member of AMAAIAC (Association of the Movement of Indigenous Agroforest Agents of the State of Acre)

also part of: