Claudia Andujar, The Yanomami Struggle | Fondation Cartier

Claudia Andujar, The Yanomami Struggle | Fondation Cartier

Claudia Andujar, The Yanomami Struggle | Fondation Cartier 

The Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain is pleased to announce the largest exhibition to date dedicated to the work of Claudia Andujar. For over five decades, she has devoted her life to photographing and protecting the Yanomami, one of Brazil’s largest indigenous group.

Based on four years of research in the photographer's archive, this new exhibition curated by Thyago Nogueira for the Instituto Moreira Salles in Brazil, will focus on her work from this period, bringing together over three hundred photographs, a series of Yanomami drawings as well as her audiovisual installation Genocide of the Yanomami: Death of Brazil. The exhibition will explore Claudia Andujar’s extraordinary contribution to the art of photography as well as her major role as a human rights activist in the defense of the Yanomami. It is divided into two sections reflecting the dual nature of a career committed to both aesthetics and activism. The first section presents the photographs from her first seven years living with the Yanomami, showing how she grappled with the challenges of visually interpreting a complex culture. The second features the work she produced during her period of activism, when she began to use her photography as a tool among others for political change.

"I am connected to the indigenous, to the land, to the primary struggle. All of that moves me deeply. Everything seems essential. Perhaps I have always searched for the answer to the meaning of life in this essential core. I was driven there, to the Amazon jungle, for this reason. It was instinctive. I was looking to find myself." Claudia Andujar

Interpreting Yanomami Culture

Claudia Andujar first met the Yanomami in 1971 while working on an article about the Amazon for Realidade magazine. Fascinated by the culture of this isolated community, she decided to embark on an in-depth photographic essay on their daily life after receiving a Guggenheim fellowship to support the pro- ject. From the very beginning, her approach differed greatly from the straightforward documentary style of her contemporaries. The photographs she made during this period show how she experimented with a variety of photographic techniques in an attempt to visually trans- late the shamanic culture of the Yanomami. Applying Vaseline to the lens of her camera, using ash devices, oil lamps, and infrared lm, she created visual distortions, streaks of light, and saturated colors, imbuing her images with a feeling of the otherworldly.

Claudia Andujar also developed a series of sober black- and-white portraits that capture the grace and dignity of the Yanomami. Focusing closely on faces and body frag- ments, she tightly frames her images, using a dramatic chiaroscuro to create a feeling of intimacy and draw attention to individual psychological states.

Alongside the many photographs taken during this period, the exhibition will also present a selection of Yanomami drawings. After years photographing the Yanomami her- self,ClaudiaAndujarfeltitwasimportanttoprovidethem with the opportunity to represent their own conceptions of nature and the universe. She thus initiated a drawing project,equippingmembersofthecommunitywithmark- ers and paper. A selection of these drawings representing Yanomami myths, rituals, and shamanic visions will be presented in the exhibition.

Political Activism

By the late 1970s, Claudia Andujar had reached a turning point in her career. The construction of a transcontinental highway in the Amazon, initiated by Brazil’s military government, opened up the region to deforestation as well as invasive agricultural programs, bringing epidemics to the Yanomami and leading to the annihilation of entire communities. This situation reminded her of the genocide in Europe, and its impact on her was such that she decided to deepen her commitment to the Yanomami struggle. In 1978 she founded, with the missionary Carlo Zacquini and the anthropologist Bruce Albert, the Commissão Pro-Yanomani (CCPY) and began a fourteen-year-long campaign to designate their homeland.

One of the other major works presented in this section is Genocide of the Yanomami: Death of Brazil (1989/2018). This audiovisual installation, which has been recreated speci cally for the exhibition, was originally made in reaction to the decrees signed in 1989, which broke up Yanomami territory in nineteen separate reservations. Produced with photos from Claudia Andujar’s archive, rephotographed using lights and lters, the projection leads the visitor from a world of harmony to one devastated by the progress of Western civilization. A soundtrack composed by Marlui Miranda combining Yanomami chants and experimental music accompanies this installation.

Visit the exhibition

The exhibition is open from 30th January to 10th May 2020
at Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain, 261 Boulevard Raspail, 75014 Paris, France
Open Tuesday - Sunday, 11am to 8pm. Late night on Tuesdays until 10pm.

Book a ticket for the exhibition here

The exhibition is supported by Instituto Socioambiental, Brazil and Hutukara Yanomami Association, Brazil. Curator: Thyago Nogueira, assisted by Valentina Tong Exhibition coordinator: Leanne Sacramone, assisted by Juliette Lecorne

*Images by Fondation Cartier 

FOLLOW twitter∣ pinterest  lookbook instagram


  1. What amazing photos! Looks like it would be a great exhibition to see! :)

    Hope that you are having a great weekend :)

    Away From Blue

  2. Wow what an incredible artist I am glad that she is speaking out through her art Love this post xoxo Cris

  3. What an incredible exhibition! I can see that she is an amazing artist and love this space that her art is presented in.


  4. Unfortunately we're stripping the earth of her outer layer for "progress" and we'll likely continue to do so in the future until she's completely unprotected. It does so much damage to the environment and to the wildlife and this wonderful exhibition shows that it's also damaging to humans. We've seen it everywhere - here in the USA with the American Indians. That's all I'm saying on the subject here. The exhibit looks wonderful and if it makes it to North Central Texas, I'd love to be able to see it. Beautiful art for a great cause. And I love the way she achieved some of her effects! Vaseline on the lens....that's gotta be fun to get off of there after you've done it :/ Thank you for sharing this!


  5. Her art is beautiful! And the display is smart too!


  6. Beautiful photos and just from what you shared, looks like it's going to be an amazing exhibition, wish I could teleport myself! :)

    Have a lovely day and happy weekend!
    XO, Melissa

  7. Incredible post! Your site looks amazing!
    Thanks for stopping by :)


  8. This exhibition seems to be really impressing!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

  9. Such an amazing artist, wonderful pictures darling!


  10. Sounds it have to be an incredible exhibition!
    She's an amazing artist, id like to see her works too!
    Great photos!

  11. What an incredible exhibition! wonderful pics!!


  12. Wow, this sounds like an incredible, sensory exhibition. And with such an important message behind it too. Would love nothing more to get on a plane to learn more about her work!


  13. I wish to visit it too, it must be an excited experience! The pics are wonderful :) xoxo

    Color Me Fall

  14. Great blog!!! I always come to you with great interest )) https://beautypumma.blogspot.com/

  15. This looks amazing! What a great experience this must be.

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com


hello! thanks for adding your thoughts, i really appreciate it! you can follow my instagram @stylefrontier too!

Copyright © Style FrontierCREATED BY ThemeShine