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Sep 4, 2017

Worse Than Even Genocide

The Krubo were first contacted in 2014 and show little fear of outsiders.
(Image from Izabela Sanchez's original story linked below.)
What do you call it when not only a people but an entire culture is wiped out?  I'm stunned to hear this emerging story about the massacre of two whole villages of indigenous peoples in a very remote section of the Amazon, belonging to a group known as Warikama Djapar.

Evidence of victim's bodies was discovered in Feb. 2017, but there's indications there were previous incidents as well. Investigation is extremely difficult because of the remoteness, the total lack of infrastructure and institutions (like police and judges) and lack of funds. Suspicion is cast on illegal miners, agribusiness, hunters and landowners who have been prepetually infringing into tribal lands.

What's worse, these tribes are specifically protected by the government from contact even by supportive visitors in an attempt to preserve the purity of these "undiscovered" peoples until they choose for themselves to contact outsiders. Investigating official Conrado Octavio says,
Isolated tribes are indicated in proximity to massive deforestation.
[Credits: (Graphic) J. You/Science; (Data) Antenor Vaz and RAISG]
"These pressures are not exclusive to the present moment, although it is frightening the totally shameless character that initiatives of these sectors have assumed in the present, and the freedom with which they have occupied and commanded strategic sectors of the federal government especially affects the indigenous peoples in Brazil. The effects of such pressures on isolated peoples / groups are particularly serious and entail serious risks of contagion and conflict."*

As development encroaches on the protected tribal lands there is little resistance to exploitation and almost no law enforcement. The effects of diseases, greed, and modern weapons on these healthy and happy societies are utterly devastating. Apparently the Warikama Djapar people have been virtually wiped out, along with their language, traditions and customs. The few survivors are not enough to repopulate. This culture will vanish from the earth due to the greed of a few. It's hard to imagine a greater evil than this, but this is the truth of collonization that western "civilization" has visited upon the indigenous world for centuries. We have to own that this is still our legacy.

• Sources:


*Translation is a clucky, mechanical one from original articles in Spanish.
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Tim Holmes Studio

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I'm a sculptor/filmmaker living in Montana, USA. I am using art to move the evolution of humanity forward into an increasingly responsive, inclusive and interactive culture. As globalization flattens peoples into a capitalist monoculture I hope to use my art to celebrate historical cultural differences and imagine how we can co-create a rich future together.

I see myself as an artist/philosopher laboring deep in the mines of joy. I've had a good long career of exhibiting work around the world and working on international outreach projects, most notably being the first American to be invited to present a one-person exhibit in the Hermitage Museum. Recently I have turned my attention from simply making metal sculpture to creating films and workshops for engaging communities directly, tinkering with the very ideas and mechanisms behind cultural transformation. I feel that as we face tragic world crises, if the human species favors our imaginative and creative capacities we can cultivate a rich world to enjoy.

For me the deepest satisfaction in making art comes in engaging people's real life concerns rather than providing simple entertainment or decoration. Areas of conflict or tension are particularly ripe for the kind of transformative power that art uniquely carries. I invite any kind of challenge that serves people on a deep level.