Opening Reception & Lunch Talk with Charles Bicalho
October 21, 2019 at 12:00 – 1:30pm
In the oral tradition of the Maxakali people, an impoverished indigenous group located in the State of Minas Gerais in Brazil, women have a special space. This exhibit shares the work of a group of Maxacali youth that along with filmmaker, designer, and researcher Charles Bicalho developed a script based on research on this indigenous oral tradition. The illustrations for the film, which some are present here, were made in a series of workshops at Aldeia Verde (Green Village), at the hearth of Maxakali territory (there are less than fifteen-hundred speakers of the language) in the municipality of Ladainha, in Minas Gerais. The story is told from the perspective of Mãtãnãg (in the voice of Shawara Maxakali, co-director of the film), an enchanted woman that was able to return from the dead to tell the stories of the forces that govern the supernatural world. The animation of the film was directed by Jackson Abacatu, a young artist, filmmaker and musician, formed in animation and sculpture at the Fine Arts department of Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais. Charles Bicalho is a filmmaker, designer, media producer, and researcher working within indigenous Brazilian communities. His work has been directed to recover stories of the Maxakali communities in Brazil. In the fashion of participatory research-action and visual anthropology the work of Bicalho offers a direct inside on the life of communities at the edge of cultural annihilation.
Language plays a crucial role in the daily lives of people, not only as a tool for communication, education, and social integration, but also as a repository for each person’s unique identity, cultural history, traditions, and memory. However, languages around the world continue to disappear at an alarming rate, as part of the so-called seventh extinction in which the diversity of the planet is at stake. The United Nations declared 2019 the Year of Indigenous Languages in order to raise awareness of them, not only to benefit the people that speak these languages but to recognized that the diversity of the world live also in the many ways we describe and name it.
This exhibit celebrates such diversity.
To know more about UN’s actions to conserve languages visit: https://en.iyil2019.org/#
The 2019 North Carolina Latin American Film Festival, the Duke Brazil Initiative, and the John Hope Franklin Center and also recognized how indigenous languages make a better world.