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Biocultural collections, art and eco-activism

Venue: Online

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An online live event exploring how Indigenous artists from Brazil have engaged with museum collections to discuss issues of Indigenous rights, climate change and biocultural diversity loss. 

This online roundtable explores how Indigenous artists from Brazil have engaged with ethnographic collections to explore issues of Indigenous rights, climate change and biocultural diversity loss. During the roundtable, invited speakers will discuss how museums which hold and display Indigenous art and/or biocultural collections (objects made from plant and animal materials) might further engage with and support Indigenous artists and communities.    

The roundtable is co-organised by CILAVS or the Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies (Birkbeck) in association with the Pitt Rivers Museum (Oxford) through the museum’s involvement with the Taking Care project (Ethnographic and World Culture Museums as Spaces of Care). This event will have simultaneous translation from Portuguese to English.     

Roundtable Chair

Luciana Martins, Professor of Latin American Visual Cultures, Department of Languages, Cultures and Applied Linguistics at Birkbeck/University of London; Assistant Dean for Research, School of Arts; Co-Director of CILAVS; and Visiting Researcher at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Her research considers the role of visual and material culture in the scientific exploration of Latin America. 


Denilson Baniwa is an Indigenous artist from the Baniwa community; he is Indigenous, and he is an artist, and his Indigenous being leads him to invent another way of making art, where processes of imagining and making are by force interventions in a historical dynamic (the history of the colonization of Indigenous territories that we know today as Brazil) and interpellations to those who meet him to embrace his responsibilities. 

Glicéria Jesus da Silva, known as Célia Tupinambá, is from the Serra do Padeiro village, located in the Tupinambá de Olivença Indigenous Land, in the south of the State of Bahia (Brazil). She currently participates in the political and religious life of the Tupinambá community (involved in issues such as education, productive organization, social services and women’s rights) and is a professor at the Tupinambá Serra do Padeiro State Indigenous College (CEITSP). She is studying the Indigenous Intercultural Degree at the Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Bahia (IFBA). She also worked at other Indigenous associations and was a member of the National Commission for Indigenous Policy (CNPI). And she currently represents her community with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women). In 2015, she made the documentary ‘Voz das Mulheres Indígenas’ (‘Voice of Indigenous Women’). Since then, she has continued to work on videos together with the youths from the Tupinambá community.

João Pacheco de Oliveira, Anthropologist and Professor at the National Museum, Rio de Janeiro, did extensive fieldwork with the Tikuna Indians of the Brazilian Amazon. Author or organizer of 14 books and over 140 articles or book chapters. Supervised 90 theses and dissertations in Social Anthropology. Curator of the ethnological collections of the National Museum. In 2006 organized the exhibition ‘Os Primeiros Brasileiros’, shown in 12 Brazilian capitals, which in 2021, became the first virtual exhibition of the National Museum. Along with indigenous leaders he was one of the founders of the Maguta Museum (1991), based in Benjamin Constant / Amazonas, the first indigenous museum in Brazil (

Thandiwe Wilson, Pitt Rivers Museum, graduating from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, Thandiwe has a background in heritage and currently works as a Research Assistant at the Pitt Rivers Museum. Her areas of interest include engagement & participatory practice in cultural heritage. 

Accessing the event

This event takes place online. Click the word ‘Online’ in your confirmation email to access the event. This will only be live one hour before the listed start time.

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Please be aware that to access this viewing you will be redirected to Zoom, which is outside the Birkbeck online environment. Zoom will process your personal data in accordance with their privacy policies which can be viewed here (

This event is part of Arts Week 2022.


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