35th Bienal de São Paulo
6 Set to 10 Dec 2023
Free Admission
35th Bienal de
São Paulo
6 Set to 10 Dec
Exhibition view of the video installation of Aida Harika Yanomami, Edmar Tokorino Yanomami e Roseane Yariana Yanomami Yuri u xëatima thë [Fishing with Timbó], during the 35th Bienal de São Paulo – choreographies of the impossible © Levi Fanan / Fundação Bienal de São Paulo

Aida Harika Yanomami, Edmar Tokorino Yanomami & Roseane Yariana Yanomami

In 2023, we witnessed open attacks and genocide against the Yanomami people. The threats from illegal mining and its socio-ecological consequences are not new, and the Yanomami have long sought to protect themselves through organizations, but also by reinforcing their culture and tradition. Yanomami Iindigenous cinema is recent, but it is powerful, dynamic, and assertive.

Yuri u xëatima thë [Fishing with Timbó] and Thuë pihi kuuwi [A Woman Thinking] tell intimate stories about two of the Yanomami people’s rituals. The first deals with the custom of fishing with macerated vines placed in rafts in certain stretches of the river during drought times. The second follows the thoughts and views of an Indigenous woman on the preparation of yãkoana for ritual use by shamans. Both are directed by Aida Harika Yanomami, Edmar Tokorino Yanomami, and Roseane Yariana Yanomami, members of the Hutukara organization, and were filmed in the Watorikɨ community.

Yuri u xëatima thë begins by placing us in a collective scenario and, after a turn in the script, follows a conflict involving a single character, blurring the boundary between reality and fiction. Thuë pihi kuuwi, the narrator places us inside her mind, and we see what she sees over the course of an entire day in which she watches the preparation of the yãkoana. The ritual is one of the most important among the Yanomami: it is when the shamans come into contact with the xapiri spirits, calling them to dance and enter a trance and dream state. It is the shamans’ contact with the xapiri that protects the entire community and, as Davi Kopenawa describes in A queda do céu [The Falling Sky], the oldest shamans teach the new generations to respond to the spirits’ call, because if they don’t, they will remain ignorant.

Rituals, traditions, the Yanomami people’s connection with dreams and their cosmologies have shaped a belief system about the preservation of worldly existence, and are powerful weapons through which life and our possibility of a future pulsate.

pérola mathias
translated from Portuguese by philip somervell

Aida Harika Yanomami (1998) and Edmar Tokorino Yanomami (1986) were born and live in the Watorikɨ community, in the Demini region of the Yanomami Indigenous Land, in the Brazilian Amazon. Roseane Yariana Yanomami (1998) was born in the Watorikɨ community and lives in the Buriti maloca, also located in the Demini region. The filmmakers are part of the Yanomami communicators collective created in 2018 by Hutukara Associação Yanomami with support from Instituto Socioambiental (ISA). Thuë Pihi Kuuwi – Uma mulher pensando [A Woman Thinking] and Yuri U Xëatima Thë – A pesca com Timbó [Fishing with Timbó] are the first films they have directed together.