Did you know 5% of the worlds’ population holds 70% of all cultures?
Let that sink in for a bit.
It’s estimated that 370 million indigenous people left in the world today represent an overwhelming majority of 5.000 different cultural identities out of a total of 7.000. With cultural diversity quickly in decline, the United Nations’ Declaration for Indigenous People urges us to preserve these marginalized cultures and the ancient continuum of knowledge they represent. Especially now, with indigenous rights being repeatedly violated through land grabbing and large scale displacement, we engage into dialogue about the importance of documentation and means of portrayal. What are we about to loose at the brink of the homogenous paradigm and how do we create a policy of accurate representation through photography and other media?
“As a source of exchange, innovation and creativity, cultural diversity is as necessary for humankind as biodiversity is for nature.”
– UNESCO Declaration of Cultural Diversity
21 February at Pakhuis de Zwijger, ‘de Expo’
Doors open at 19:30
Programme starts at 20:00
During an hour programme Sinchi Foundation addresses these topics in a debate with founder of Natives photograph and jurymember of the 2018 Sinchi photo competition Josue Rivas and co-organizer of Natures Narratives and founder of Black Achievement Month Antoin Deul.
The discussion is moderated by social- environmental anthropologist Steyn Hoogakker, founder of iMPACT JOURNEY. Before and after there is opportunity to see the winning photography, listen to short lectures from a few of the winning visual storytellers and enjoy the music and performances of indigenous Cordillera ensemble from the Phillipines: MABIKAs Foundation- The Netherlands.
This evening kicks-off a month long exhibition of Sinchi’s annual photography competition winners at the Pakhuis de Zwijger café, starting March 1st. This photography competition provides an opportunity for visual storytellers around the world to be recognized for their talent and commitment to the preservation of culture and indigenous rights.
About Josué Rivas
Josué Rivas (Mexica/Otomi) is a visual storyteller working at the intersection of art, journalism, and social justice. His work aims to challenge the mainstream narrative about Indigenous peoples, build awareness about issues affecting Native communities across Turtle Island, and be a visual messenger for those in the shadows of our society. He is a 2017 Magnum Foundation Photography and Social Justice Fellow, founder of the Standing Strong Project, co-founder of Natives Photograph and winner of the 2018 Sinchi photo competition and the FotoEvidence Book Award with World Press Photo.
About Antoin Deul
Antoin Deul has many years of experience within management and engineering of sustainable global water and energy networks. Aware of the interconnectedness between natural resources and social justice for marginalized groups, Antoin is also an advocate for human rights. He is the former director of the Dutch National Institute for the Study of Dutch Slavery and Heritage and founder of the Black Achievement Month and co-founder of Black Renaissance collective. At the moment, he is running a recurring cultural program at Pakhuis de Zwijger called ‘Nature’s Narratives’, emphasizing the importance of indigenous knowledge for the future of our planet.
About Mabikas Foundation
Fueled by the will and passion of the Igorots in the Netherlands (i.e. the indigenous people from the Philippine Cordillera Region), MABIKAS Foundation is a non-profit organization that aims to help eradicate prejudice against indigenous people by utilizing the power of information. The journey towards that vision is characterized by the group’s bold statement, saying NO to prejudice and YES to understanding, NO to ignorance and YES to wisdom, NO to competition and YES to collaboration. That through knowledge and skills acquisition, not only can we help ourselves and other indigenous groups to survive in these modern times but most significantly also to thrive and bring forth positive impact in the society we live in.
Entrance is free but donations are encouraged. You can register on the website of Pakhuis de Zwijger: https://dezwijger.nl/programma/framing-indigenous-culture
1ST PLACE SERIES – Alain Schroeder. Indonesia, Sumbawa Island, Moyo, Horse racing or Maen Jaran, is a favorite pastime in Sumbawa, Indonesia. Kid jockeys, 5 -10 years old, mount bareback, barefoot and with little to no protective gear, racing at speeds of up to 80 kms per hour. They will mount 5 to 6 times a day for several consecutive days. For 3,50 to 7 euros per mount. Once a game between neighbors to celebrate a good harvest, horse racing was transformed into a spectator sport by the Dutch in the 20th century to entertain officials and nobility. The unique features of Sumbawa racing are the notoriously small horses and fearless child jockeys, aged 5-10, who mount bareback, barefoot and with little protective gear. Maen Jaran (the Indonesian name of the game) takes place during important festivals and holidays throughout the year at racetracks across the island and remains a favorite pastime for Sumbawans. Rules have evolved, horses are now classified by age and height, yet kid jockeys continue to risk their lives for 3,50 to 7 euros per mount often racing many times in one day, and every day during the racing week, pushed by parents and relatives given the potential earnings that far outweigh the poor returns on crops often plagued by drought.
1ST PLACE PORTRAIT – Aron Klein. The portrait depicts a participant of the the annual practice of ‘Kukeri’. A other worldly ritual intended to dispel the evil spirits, which might otherwise bring ill fortune to the community. The ancient arcane pagan ceremony is performed in the Bulgaria’s remote mountain regions. Kukeri hanging heavy bells around their waists that create a defining symphony as they dance and jump in hypnotic rhythms. Aron spent weeks on the road traveling up and down the country exploring the mountain villages and snow fields to capture serine portraits of the annual rituals practitioners.
1ST PLACE ARTISTIC MERIT ” Ana Caroline de Lima – Do you want to take a picture of Maria? She is very beautiful!” – Sure, bring her here! Minutes later, a Kayapó girl brings Maria, a little doll whose body is painted with Kayapó motifs, just like her. The drawings were made to \’train\’ indigenous to paint other people’s faces. “She looks just like me, doesn’t she? She doesn’t have ‘hairs above the eyes’!” – she says, showing me the blue-eyed, white doll who, just like her, doesn’t have eyebrows
2ND PLACE ARTISTIC MERIT- Ricardo Teles. In Xingu, midwest Brazil, the largest indigenous reserve in the world, the Kamayurás begin to walk towards Ypawu lake for their first bathing before sunrise. Several bathing sessions are going to be repeated daily until sunset. These waters are a link to their ancestors and keeping them pure is a sacred ritual. The lake is their most important source of food, and also the essence of their culture. The Kamayura´s creation myth tells about a magic bird which, in a dispute with a tribesman, threw up the water that formed the lake and also buried the residents. Since then, it has become an enchanted place, and its water and plants a source of strenght for the Kamayurás. Once a year, the tribe holds the Kuarup, a festival in honor to the dead. All neighboring tribes are welcomed to their territory on this occasion. The "great spirits" are invoked to make sure there will be enough food for all the guests during the big fishing expeditions to Iananpau lake, which has remained untouched since the previous year´s celebrations and is bursting with life.
2ND PLACE PORTRAIT – Paolo lo Pinto. “The warm light of the Burmese sunset, the face of a child colored by the Thanaka, two wonderful eyes … the recipe for a magical moment.” I was waiting for the train that would take me back to Yangon, tired and sleepy i was sitting on a crumbling bench when suddenly my gaze was captured by this wonderful girl who was waiting for the train with her mother. She had two magnetic eyes made even more unique by Thanaka’s doused face. The Thanaka is a yellowish-white cosmetic paste made from ground bark. It is a distinctive feature of the culture of Myanmar applied by women and girls to the face and sometimes to arms. Next to her there was her lunch box and an her favorite games that she was bringing to school. When I approach her offering candies her face lit up and she start smiling and hiding behind her Mom’s dress. She was also intrigued by my camera so I asked her Mom if I could take a picture of her in order to show her how the camera works. Her face, the warm light filtered from the roof of the station created a fantastic portrait so much to excite me every time i looked at it. I showed them the picture and their faces were pervaded with amazement never seen before.
2ND PLACE SERIES- Emily Garthwaite. A pilgrim family sleep in a semi-abandoned building lit with occasional floodlights on the eve of Arbaeen in Karbala, Iraq. Surrounding the entrance and over three floors were families sleeping, swaddled in blankets. Occasionally you would find a pilgrim praying or a family sharing biscuits. The family pictured were part of a large family group – only a couple were still awake.
3RD PLACE ARTISTIC MERIT- Indranil Sengupta. “Out of hundreds of “Taleems” (wrestling schools) built during the 18th century by the kings of the princely state of Kolhapur, Chhatrapati Sahuji Maharaj, only a few remains now. The image depicts one of the wrestlers in “Motibag Taleem” in Kolhapur. It was on a winter afternoon when I went to the Taleem for the first time.The practice was going on in the red mud arena. Wrestlers often pause while wrestling to envelop themselves with the red soil, making their oil soaked bodies less easy to grip. It was one of those moments when the wrestler turned at me, a primal glimpse yet very submissive. This is what this ancient sport is all about, I think. The wrestling matches deserve to live on in order to help our rich ancestral culture survive.”
3RD PLACE PORTRAIT- Florence Goupil. Ausangate is one of the most important mountains in the Peruvian Andes with an elevation of 6,384 meters. This mountain has significance in Quechua mythology. They call this mountain Apu Ausangate. Apu is Quechua for spirit of the mountain and Ausangate is considered the most powerful mountain of the Andes. The wise Quechua people -or Altomisayoc- say they can speak with the Apu. When the snow falls, he appears dressed in white at the foot of the mountain. At that place I met Julian.
3RD PLACE SERIES- Gustavo Herera Yepez. A Purepecha girl prepares for the nights festivities in Tocuaro, a region in Michoacan, Mexico known for its intricate wood-carved masks. These masks, often representing people or animals, are used to ward off evil spirits or welcome friendly souls. The Purepecha are an indigenous group centered in the northwest region of Michoacan who continue using ancient traditions and incorporate them in their celebrations of Dia de los Muertos.