Photo © Amedeo Benestante.

Photo © Amedeo Benestante.

Photo © Amedeo Benestante.

Photo © Amedeo Benestante.

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Decolonizing Botany - Maria Thereza Alves

Sound Installation 24 channels I 2022 I 32min

Decolonizing Botany / Jevy Jejapo-pyra Temitī-tyre is an installation developed in collaboration with a group of Guarani people of the Jaguapiru Reservation in the Mato Grosso do Sul region of Brazil. Alves asked her long-time collaborator, teacher and local reservation leader Ke´y Rusú Katupyry, and his community to explain Guarani plant taxonomy. They present the nature and qualities of the 24 species in Guarani botany that Alves has recorded in her watercolours. Through this exercise emerges the complexity of Guarani thinking and its deeply relational nature, always weaving connections between living beings and their surroundings. What in the Latin botanical nomenclature is referred to as Nymphoides humboldtiana, in Guarani taxonomy is known as Yvoty mboporã pónhuregua, ‘five-sided flower of the spirit of the fields and forests: you will go away one day but I will not’. The project underlines the right to epistemic sovereignty of the Guarani people in showing how naming systems encode knowledge. Alves’ series of watercolours is presented alongside the honouring songs that community members performed for each plant in the work.

MUSEO MADRE

 

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