How I photographed the Yanomami
Como fotografei os Yanomami
2018, Brésil, 72′
In 2013, director Otavio Cury accompanied a group of nurses to Koxixinape, a Yanomami village with little contact located in the Serra de Surucucu, a region bordering Venezuela. The Indians did not allow themselves to be filmed. How I photographed the Yanomami was born from this impossibility.
According to the shamanic tradition, the image belongs to the person. If it were to be captured by an evil spirit, it would be devoured, and its owner would become ill. In order to rescue a captive image, the shamans send out their xapiri spirits. They can then cure the diseases of those living in the forest.
The Yanomami inhabit the largest area of indigenous land in Brazil. There are 25,000 people, distributed throughout 300 communities. The villages maintain their healing traditions, but the growing influence of white people is imposing a new reality.
The documentary investigates this frontier of contact between whites and Indians, dealing with image, health and shamanism.