Project June 12, 2019

The Last River

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An Indigenous Rikbaktsa woman cleaning on the banks of the Arinos River, north of Mato Grosso. Although the project of the Castanheira plant ensures that the various Indigenous lands, including the Apiaka, Rikibaktsa, Kaiabi, Munduruku and Tapajuna, would not be affected by the flood, the hydrographic alteration would leave the entire village deprived of resources it depends on so much for their subsistence food and for their sacred rituals.
An Indigenous Rikbaktsa woman cleaning on the banks of the Arinos River, north of Mato Grosso. Although the project of the Castanheira plant ensures that the various Indigenous lands, including the Apiaka, Rikibaktsa, Kaiabi, Munduruku and Tapajuna, would not be affected by the flood, the hydrographic alteration would leave the entire village deprived of resources it depends on so much for their subsistence food and for their sacred rituals. Image by Pablo Albarenga. Brazil, 2018.

The region of the Arino and Peixes rivers in Juará, in the north of Mato Grosso state is threatened by dozens of large scale projects planned for the short and long term. One of the direct consequences is the dislocation of hundreds of indigenous families of the Kayabi, Munduruku, and Apiaká ethnic groups. In addition, the belt of deforestation which surrounds the area will take advantage of the new roads opened up during the execution of these projects and its advance will continue upon the region's rich territories. Faced with this situation, indigenous leaders of the three ethnic groups began to map out their sacred sites as a defence strategy, with the aim of having them recognised as immaterial cultural heritage, which would help the struggle for conservation and the defence of human rights, by putting a break on the advance of these projects.

Between 19th and 24th October, leaders from the aforementioned groups guided journalists Caio Mato and Pablo Albarenga through still unexplored territory to register their archeological sites, as well as their mythological and territorial knowledge. 

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