Past event

Amerindian women speak out: environment, climate crisis, land and gender in Brazilian Amazonia free

Nelly Marubo (pictured) and Francineia Baniwř are indigenous anthropologists and activists from two distinct regions in Brazilian Amazonia who are visiting the University of St Andrews to present their own Amerindian people's perspectives on environmental destruction and climate.

Nelly Marubo (Nelly Barbosa Duarte Dollis) is an activist and intellectual from the Javari region on the border between Peru and Brazil. The Marubo people are one of the most numerous in this area and leading members of the indigenous movement there, which fights against land invasion, environmental pillage and for the rights guaranteed under the Brazilian Constitution. Nelly completed a PhD in Anthropology at the Museu Nacional (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro), in May 2022 and is currently organising an association of the indigenous women of the Javari. She will speak about the many difficulties involved in this project, which takes place under constant a threat of violence from the same criminal groups that organised the murders of Dom Philips and Bruno Pereira.

Francineia Baniwa (Francineia Bitencourt Fontes) is of the Walipere-Dakeenai clan of the Baniwa people, who have been living since precolonial times in the upper Rio Negro River area, now part of the Northwest Amazon region of Brazil. She is currently studying for a doctorate in anthropology at the Museu Nacional (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro), where she completed a master's dissertation on Baniwa mythology and its transformations in 2019. She is a mother, expert in forest agriculture, activist, defender of the environment and its guardian-carers, photographer and spokeswoman for her people and for Amerindians -- the original peoples of the Americas -- more generally.

In this panel they will talk about gender and the question of territory and invite participants to an open discussion.

This event is part of a series of activities around the topics of climate change and the environment post COP-26 and pre-COP 27 presented by three remarkable Amerindian women from Brazil who will be in St Andrews this autumn.

From Tuesday 6 to Tuesday 13 September, the activists and anthropologists will meet and engage with students, academics and members of the public through this lecture and panel discussion on the environment, climate crisis, land and gender in Brazilian Amazonia, a class in anthropology, a collaborative work of art with Scottish artists, and a workshop on the making of sacred feather mantles in the Tupinambř tradition. The women will also reach out to the political establishment in Scotland to speak about their concerns.

The project that supports their visit, sponsored by CAS (the Centre for Amerindian Studies) and the Department of Social Anthropology, aims to provide a platform to amplify indigenous women's voices on climate change and the environment. It is a development of the first phase of the project, an online exhibition of short films and photographs, which took place entirely online.

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