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Voro’pi: Art and Education In between Worlds

February 20 at 1:00 pm until 3:00 pm

Gilman 479

With Naine Terena, Gustavo Caboco, and Jamille Pinheiro Dias. Co-sponsored by the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, the Portuguese Program, and Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx Studies.

Voro’pi is an educational initiative that approaches the arts as a way to galvanize counter-histories, fight structural inequality, and learn about protagonists from different contexts. The Terena, an Indigenous people living in Brazil, teach us that Voro’pi is an entity that roams the cosmos through groundwater and safeguards visible and invisible riverbeds. In response to improper human interference with the flow of water, Voro’pi can cause storms, floods, and other water-related events. Voro’pi seeks fairness. He empowers those who can appreciate the balance between worlds. Bearing the name of Voro’pi, this event will bring together Indigenous perspectives in transit to consider how aesthetics can help educate the senses to fight structural inequality, generate counter-histories, and make still water move.

Naine Terena

Naine Terena is a researcher, educator, artist, and curator. With Pinacoteca de São Paulo, she worked on the project Decay Without Mourning – Future Thinking Heritage Practices, funded by the Riksbankens Jubileumsfond. She was also curator of the exhibition Véxoa: nós sabemos, the first exhibition curated by an Indigenous person at Pinacoteca. She was a professor of Cultural Management at the Itaú Cultural Institute in São Paulo, in addition to collaborating with the Intercultural Indigenous Master’s Degree as a professor at the Mato Grosso State University. She holds a PhD in Education from the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo (PUC-SP), a Master of Arts from the University of Brasília (UnB) and a degree in Radio Broadcasting from the Federal University of Mato Grosso (UFMT). In 2012, she started her own cultural production business in Brazil, Oráculo Comunicação, Educação e Cultura. Through Oráculo, she developed the Ethnomedia Indigenous Festival; training courses such as the Audiovisual Laboratory of Dissident Memories at the Vila das Artes Public Audiovisual School; the Identidade Brasilis Project, coordinated by the National Administration of Brazil’s Social Service of Commerce (Sesc); and provided consultancy for the Paranaense Museum in Curitiba. In 2019, she participated in the Verbier Art Summit in Valais, Switzerland, and was one of the five finalists of the Jane Lombard Prize for Art and Social Justice, awarded by the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, in New York. In 2022, she joined the 59th Venice Biennale as one of the guests of aabaakwad, an annual Indigenous-led conversation on Indigenous arts. In that same year, she was awarded the title of Master of Culture by the state of Mato Grosso.

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Gustavo Caboco

Gustavo Caboco is an Indigenous artist from the Wapichana people in Brazil. He is the son of Lucilene, a Wapichana woman who was separated from her people in the Canauanim community, in Cantá, in the state of Roraima, in the Brazilian Amazon, near the border with Guyana. He was born and raised in Curitiba, in southern Brazil, where his mother settled after successive adoptions. His investigation centers around what he refers to as a “return to the land” and translates into drawings, paintings, embroidery, animation, video, and performance. “Returning to the land”, though, does not mean simply going back to Roraima; it means connecting dots that are seemingly invisible. In his works, bodies are twisted, split, and turned into different parts, while also standing upside down, rooted on earth. Caboco critically engages with archives and museum collections that portray Indigenous peoples, exposing exotifying stereotypes and racist approaches in visual narratives. He participated in the 34th Bienal de São Paulo with a variety of works, and was a PIPA Prize 2022 nominee. Also in 2022, he joined the Indigenous-led arts gathering aabaakwad at the 59th Venice Biennale.

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Jamille Pinheiro Dias

Jamille Pinheiro Dias was born in Belém, in the Brazilian Amazon, in 1983. She is currently a von der Heyden Fellow at Duke University’s Amazon Lab, and a lecturer in Environmental Humanities at the University of London. She was previously a research associate at the University of Manchester, where she worked on the Cultures of Anti-Racism in Latin America project, and a visiting researcher in Iberian and Latin American Cultures at Stanford University. Her interests involve Amazonian cultural production, Indigenous praxis and conceptual frameworks, environmental issues, translation and activism in Latin America, with a focus on Brazil. Besides research and teaching, she has translated works by Ailton Krenak, Judith Butler, bell hooks, and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, among others.

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