Since the early 1970s, Claudia Andujar has intensively photographed the Yanomami people who live in the upper regions of the Amazon rainforest on the border between Brazil and Venezuela. Her legacy is a shining example of art and activism coming together as one, and her fervent fight for the protection of indigenous territory made a real difference.
She came to the Yanomami as a photojournalist with an approach that differed greatly from the straightforward documentary style of her contemporaries. Her wide experimentation with different photographic techniques in an attempt to visually translate the otherworldly shamanic realms so central to this culture.
The color pictures are shoot with infrared film, the same material the Brazilian government used when surveying the jungle from above to identify the areas of exploitation. In this way, Andujar uses the very technique that is part of the violence against the Yanomami and turns it into a dreamlike vision.
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.