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Queen Mary researchers exhibit at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – The Venice Biennale

Researchers from People's Palace Projects at Queen Mary University of London are set to exhibit their work at the Venice Biennale.

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Takumã Kuikuro is an award-winning indigenous filmmaker
Takumã Kuikuro is an award-winning indigenous filmmaker

Indigenous filmmaker Takumã Kuikuro, who regularly collaborates with People's Palace Projects, is working with ACASAGRINGOCARDIA studio to take the Brazilian Amazon to the heart of the exhibition through an immersive audio-visual installation, OCA RED.

The exhibition invites the world to connect to the Xingu way of life, celebrating indigenous, communal ways of living in harmony with the earth, and sharing a vision of the future. The installation will open to the public at the Central Pavilion of the Venice Biennale on Saturday 22 May 2021.

Supporting indigenous people to thrive

The exhibition is also a cry for survival from filmmaker Takumã Kuikuro, for the indigenous people and the forest. After fifty years of limited protection in Brazil, the rights of indigenous people and the survival of indigenous cultures and knowledge are coming under increased threat.

Takumã Kuikuro said: "We believe our relationship with the forest and our ability to live in harmony with the earth can offer important answers to some of the world’s pressing challenges. In our villages we know that whatever you do to the natural world you ultimately do to yourself. Understand us. Respect us. Value us. Our existence saves your life."

To close the Biennale in November, two members of the Kuikuro will bring an experience of the annual Kuarup ritual that takes place annually, marking the passing of those lost during the year and celebrating the joy of life. This collaborative exhibition is a result of an arts exchange programme between indigenous and non-indigenous people in Brazil and the UK, organised by People’s Palace Projects.

Professor Paul Heritage, Director of People's Palace Projects said: "Museums and galleries have historically been heavily implicated in colonising Indigenous cultures and destroying the vital links between people, cultures and land. We believe these same institutions have a crucial role to play in raising international awareness about Indigenous peoples as essential protagonists in the fight against climate change and in resisting the destruction of their traditional ways of living."

Read more about the installation on the website of People's Palace Projects.

About People’s Palace Projects

People’s Palace Projects was set up in Queen Mary’s School of English and Drama in 1996. For the past 20 years, its research, cultural exchange programmes and creative projects have sought to make a measurable impact on people’s lives in the UK, Latin America and further afield.

PPP's investigations on how people turn to the arts in times of adversity include researching the role of the arts in mental health and wellbeing as well as tackling the climate emergency and environmental disasters. PPP also promotes exchange between artists and indigenous people in the Amazon region as well as co-creating broader ways to measure the value of culture in society.

More information

For media information, contact:

Paul Jordan
Faculty Communications Manager (HSS)
email: p.jordan@qmul.ac.uk