for Contemporary Art
THE YANOMAMI STRUGGLE
Susi Korihana thëri au bain, pellicule infrarouge, Catrimani, Roraima, 1972-1974.
Maison collective entourée de feuilles de patate douce, pellicule
infrarouge, Catrimani, Roraima, 1976.
Maison collective proche de la mission catholique du rio Catrimani, Roraima, pellicule infrarouge, 1976.
The Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art presents the largest exhibition to date devoted to the work and activism of Claudia Andujar.
For over fifty years, Claudia Andujar has dedicated her life to photographing and protecting the Yanomami, one of the largest indigenous groups in Brazil.
Born in Neuchâtel in Switzerland in 1931, she grew up in Transylvania. Her Hungarian Jewish father was deported to Dachau where he was killed along with other members of her family. Her mother fled with her to Switzerland before immigrating to the United States in 1946 and then to Brazil in 1955. It was there that she began her career as a photojournalist. While working on an article on the Amazon, she met the Yanomami for the first time in 1971. Fascinated by the culture of this isolated people, she decided to embark on an in-depth visual study of their daily lives. Supported by a Guggenheim grant, she tries to translate the shamanic culture of the Yanomami into her images.
She invents and uses many techniques to imbue her photographs with an aura of another world and respectfully gives them all the magic of its people who recognize themselves in their work. Grace and dignity, modesty and intimacy, she translates with force and gentleness the soul of this community in its cosmological conception of nature and the universe.
Struck in her childhood by the European genocide, Claudia Andujar makes a wholehearted commitment to protect the Yanomami who are threatened with destruction by deforestation and mining. In the early 1980s, she was struck by seeing her friends labeled to be vaccinated, this number reminded her of the horror of the Shoa, even though, due to epidemics brought by non-natives, these vaccines were necessary for their survival.
Aracá, Amazonas/Surucucus, Roraima, 1983.
Unahi Opiki thëri, Roraima, 1974.
Putting her artistic project at the service of the defense of the Yanomami people and their homeland, she uses her images to raise awareness and support her cause. Her efforts have made it possible to legally delimit the Yanomami territory, but it still remains threatened by illegal exploitation.Claudia Andujar’s work is a powerful political indictment against the violence perpetrated against the Yanomami who adopted her.
Her work of great beauty brings light into the simplest and touching truth of the souls
she has accompanied in their daily lives ...
a rough diamond, an innocent splendor to be preserved in all its fragile authenticity.
Intérieur d’une maison collective proche du Catrimani, Roraima, 1974.
Catrimani, Roraima, 1972-1976.