Colonial Fictions - Popular culture and indigenous activism in Denilson Baniwa’s digital collages (2023)
Ein Vortrag auf der Tagung "Partizipation als Herausforderung" (6. Oktober 2022).
This paper will discuss the relations between popular culture, media, and activism in the work of indigenous artist and performer Denilson Baniwa. It will focus particularly on the series “Colonial Fictions” in which the artist, uses digital image manipulation to introduce characters from popular sci-fi movies into ethnographic photographs reproduced in the first volume of Theodor Koch-Grünberg’s book Von Roraima zur Orinoco (1917). The paper will analyze the work as part of Denilson's wider artistic project, which centers on shifting historical perspectives to increase the agency of indigenous peoples in Brazil. It will discuss how the artist appropriates popular culture produced in different media - photography, sci-fi film, and the proliferation of the digital image - to rewrite historical narratives and affirm indigenous participation in history.