At the Shed, Claudia Andujar Illuminates the Yanomami Struggle

The Swiss-born Brazilian photographer spent more than five decades raising visibility for the South American Indigenous group’s struggle to protect their land, people, and culture.

Photography by Claudia Andujar

The Yanomami, an indigenous group that lives on the border between Venezuela and Brazil, existed in near-complete isolation until the early 20th century, when deforestation and climate change set in, threatening their numbers. Swiss-born Brazilian photographer Claudia Andujar has spent more than five decades photographing them, raising visibility for their struggle to protect their land, people, and culture. “I think the most important thing is the chance to introduce people to another aspect of our world,” Andujar says. “At the same time, this other aspect of our world allows us to recognize ourselves in other human beings who deserve to live their lives as they wish and according to their own understanding of the world.” 

More than 300 pictures and a series of Yanomami drawings comprise this retrospective, which illuminates how Andujar sees the Yanomami: As people. She employs techniques including double and long exposure or colored filters to convey their experience and encourage political activism. After debuting at Fondation Cartier in Paris and traveling to London’s Barbican Centre and the Trienniale Milano, the exhibition has landed at The Shed in New York (until April 16) with previously unseen works by contemporary Yanomami artists.

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