Indigenous art embodies the history, culture, and resilience of communities. To highlight this work, the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with @AngelicaWalkerProjects and Instituto Por Elas, hosted a conversation on the leadership of indigenous Brazilian women and their distinct and creative contributions to the economy, the preservation of their roots, and environment sustainability. The discussion incorporated Pratt Institute’s project promoting sustainable design, cultural exchange, and environmental awareness between indigenous communities and students in the Amazon.
Thank you to those who joined us for this special conversation supporting indigenous female Brazilian leaders.
Candice Carvalho Feio: Candice is a Brazilian journalist and correspondent at Globo’s New York office. She began her career in 2008 at Grupo RBS – Rede Globo’s affiliate in Rio Grande do Sul. In 2013, she moved to the United States to study International Relations at New York University and started working as an intern at TV Globo’s international office. Since then, she has closely followed important political and international human rights developments. In 2016 and 2020, she covered the US presidential elections. In 2018, she traveled to the Democratic Republic of Congo, where she interviewed 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner, physician Denis Mukwege, and children recruited as soldiers during the country’s Civil War. In 2020, she covered the inauguration of US President Joe Biden, the Coronavirus pandemic, and the protests against racism provoked by the death of George Floyd – all of which led to her first published book, Asphyxia.
Ana Luiza de Oliveira Andrade (@analu.oliveira__): Ana Luiza is from Pankararu, located in the submedium São Francisco, between the municipalities of Tacaratu, Jatobá, and Petrolândia, in Pernambuco, Brazil. She began her musical journey with her uncle, singer and composer Gean Ramos, with their main song “Via crucis.” She also participated in events associated with SESC Pernambuco and SESC Petrolina, such as “SESC Partituras, ” “Entre Margens,” “Sonora Brasil,” and “Janeiro Tem Mais Artes,” as well as her most recent collaboration with composer and musician Eugênio Cruz in the musical performance “Da ilha pra cá.” Apart from music, Ana Luiza is a dentist. She has specialized in indigenous peoples’ rights through the Indigenous and Quilombola Scholarship Program by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights – and took part in the 16th Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Geneva, Switzerland. Bahia brought her closer to the roots of samba, Afro culture, and drums, intensifying her passion for northeastern culture.
Rizzia Froes (@rizziafroes): A native of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Rizzia Froes is a lawyer and President of Instituto Por Elas. At the age of 21, she received a scholarship for an exchange program in the United States. She earned a master’s degree in International Law from Fordham Law School and built a career in international law and non-governmental organizations. Rizzia returned to Brazil, creating the Instituto Por Elas to support girls and women who aspire to promising futures.
Darupú’úna Magúta (@darutikuna): Darupú’úna belongs to the Tikuna ethnic group, one of the oldest and most populous in the Brazilian Amazon. She is Chair of Indigenous Cultures at the State Council of Cultural Policy of Minas Gerais. Through a variety of painted and crafted pieces, Daru expresses herself as an artist, believing that she resists and asserts her identity through art.
Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman: Rebeccah is a distinguished expert in design and technology, focusing on human interaction, wearable products, and smart textiles. As a pioneering researcher in design methodologies and smart materials, she is Professor of Industrial Design at Pratt Institute. With over 25 years of corporate design experience, Rebeccah served as Design Director for renowned brands like Fila, Champion, and Nike, leveraging her diverse background in performance apparel, product design, and textiles. An accomplished author, she wrote Smart Textiles for Designers Inventing the Future of Fabrics, in addition to many published articles and academic papers. Rebeccah is also an international speaker on design, innovation, and the future. She founded Interwoven Design Group, known for its innovative and thoughtful products, and is Founding Partner in SEArch+, applying design expertise to extraterrestrial environments.
Kandara Pataxó (@kandara_pataxo): Kandara is a member of the Juerana village in Santa Cruz de Cabralia, in the southern region of Bahia, Brazil. From a young age, she witnessed her parents’ struggle for the rights of indigenous people, and has since dedicated herself to the same cause. Her mother, Yamany Pataxó, is the chieftain of the village where Kandara grew up. Today, Kandara holds the position of Director of Women’s Policies at CONAFER (Confederação Nacional de Agricultores Familiares e Empreendedores Familiares Rurais) and takes action aimed at raising women’s voices and strengthening and supporting the activities of indigenous people, quilombola, and farming communities in Brazil. In 2017, Kandara organized a march to end domestic violence against women, with a focus on indigenous women.
Mukani Shanenawa (@mukanishanenawapaje): Mukani is a spiritual leader and educator from the Shanekaya village of the Shanetatcha people in Acre, Brazil. She is the youngest of six sisters, all in leadership roles, and was the first female chieftain of the village. Mukani believes the significance of indigenous people in the conservation of the Amazon is of utmost importance, particularly in the preservation of nature as a living pharmacy. Mukani conducts healing experiences with ayahuasca for health purposes.
Format: in-person only
Location: Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce (485 Madison Avenue, Suite 401, New York, 10022).
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