"The Yanomami Struggle" by Claudia Andujar Opens at Fondation Cartier

"The Yanomami Struggle" by Claudia Andujar Opens at Fondation Cartier

Modern photography meets political activism.

Modern photography meets political activism.

Text: Valerie Stepanova

Opening at Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain is an exhibition by Swiss-born Brazilian photographer an activist Claudia Andujar. Titled The Yanomami Struggle, the show comprises 300 photographs alongside an audio-visual installation and drawings by the Yanomami people — an exhaustive portrayal of Andujar’s contribution to modern photography and her political activism on behalf of the Yanomami people.

Over 50 years, Claudia has formed a deep relationship with the Yanomami and created work to both document and protect the Amazon Basin and its inhabitants in the face of mass deforestation and epidemics caused by European expansionism. “I am connected to the indigenous, to the land, to the primary struggle. All of that moves me deeply. Everything seems essential,” the artist explained. “I was driven there, to the Amazon jungle, for this reason. It was instinctive. I was looking to find myself.”

Fascinated by the culture of this isolated community, Andujar embarked on an in-depth photographic essay on this community’s daily life after receiving a Guggenheim fellowship to support the project. In this artistic venture, the photographer applied Vaseline to the lens of her camera, used flash devices oil lamps and infrared film to create visual distortions, streaks of light and saturated colors — adding an otherworldly feeling to her images.

The work presented as part of The Yanomami Struggle provides both an unparalleled glimpse into the complex cosmological worldview of the Yanomami and a powerful political indictment of the violence perpetrated against them. Check out the exhibit on view through May 10 at 261 Boulevard Raspail, Paris, France 75014.

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