....From my point of view it seemed
like a parade of all the acceptable sterotypes and images of indigenous
people. Feathers, paint, indigenouspeople dancing in a circle, playing
indigenous instruments. In a day that was supposed to inform the
public about the situation of indigenous people what was striking
was what the public wasnt been told.Information boards around the
museum talked about customs, cooking utensils, fishing hooks....but
there was no mention of disputes by indigenous people to reclaim
their land, to have their territorial boundaries respected. No mention
of how when the portugese arrived in Brasil there were over two
thousand indigenous languages now theres only slightly over two
hundred. No mention of how so many indigenous peoples were murdered.
How so many cultures were decimated.
....On a very personal note for me
there was absolutely no mention of Galdino. This patoxi indian had
gasoline poured on him was he asleep on a sidewalk by rich kids
in Brasilia. Galdino was then set on fire by Max Rogério
Alves, Antônio Novely Cardoso Vilanova, Tomás Oliveira
de Almeida e Eron Chaves Oliveira. He died from burns to ninety
percent to his body. I never saw galdinos face but when i went to
the trial of the four accused of murdering him his family showed
me the coroners photos of his horribly burnt corpse.
....Thats something i would never forget.
....Yet at this event supposedly honoring
indigenous people there was absolutely nothing remembering the life
lost of this innocent man.instead what was being being forced into
public consciusness was the image of the quaint exotic indienous
person.invisible, non existent except and obscene caricartures on
soap operas and at carnival. Beads, feathers, handicrafts these
were the symbols allotted to indigenous people.
....A patricina walked in front of
me. She was loaded down with an assortment of indigenous beads and
necklaces she had bought from vendors.
....I said what do yu think of the
fact theres nothing here to remember Galdino.
She stopped, gave me her full attention and with a beautiful smile
innocently asked Galdino whos that angry i turned my back to her
and walked away.
....I started thinking about the indifference
I perceived to indigenous issues, even with all the media that Galdinos
case received no one I asked could tell me the name of an entire
music that solely dealt with what happened to Galdino. Someone pointed
out a puesdo hip hop video that had a reference to Galdino. But
this video was full of sterotyped racist refences to indigenous
people.the video contained various scenes of painted indigenous
people sitting around a fire. To me this was one of the most cliched
images of indigenous people, perpetuating the image of indigenous
people as animal like people limited to a life of just sitting around
the fire in the jungle. But indigenous people are more than that;
I thought of an indigenous friend of mine who was computer programmer
and hacker, another who was a lawyer and got totally pissed off.
Pushing this sterotyoe of indigenous people totally destroyed any
good intention the artist might have had.
....I kept asking myself where were
the voices of the artists and musicians speaking out about this
tradegy that occurred with Galdino. Where were the voices speaking
out about the way the serious life threatening issues of indigenous
peoples. their issues practically never discussed.
Its as if indigenos people dont exist. Their issues dont count.
....When I travelled around brasil
and talk with brasilans and artists about this people were usually
sympathetic but there was always an attitude of indifference. Often
I walked away feeling like I was talking to people about something
they really didnt feel was that important.not that it didnt matter
but there were things way more important to discuss and work on.talking
about indigenous people well that was something left to gringos
like Sting who like to go to the amazon and take photos besides
....It was at this moment with my heart
both angry and sad at the lack of remembrance for Galdino that this
indigenous woman approached me.
....She was as angry about the event
as I was. People are very happy to come to an event like this.
....They see painted exotic indians
playing music and dancing.they think ah we have seen the real indians
the ones that live in the jungle.but almost every big city has indigenous
people living in it.
Theres a favela (ghetto) of São Paulo thats full of guarani
indians. Are you telling me those arent real indians. I asked her
what she thought was the reason for the indiference shown to indigenous
people and their issues.
....She replied somehow we are programmed
to see brasilian indians as inferior to "civilized people"
and to "imported indians" like the american indians. They
have this mystic this glamour. They are more beautiful than brasilian
indians. People love tatoos with american indians.
....Brasian indians are seen like old
old buildings that shouldnt be destroyed because they represent
a piece of the nations history. They are seen almost like extinct
animals. People dont care if they are living or how they are living.
Theres more noise made about an old building about to be torn down
than say when a group of indigenous people are murdered by cattle
ranchers who want their land to raise cattle.
....She reached into her bag and pulled
out a photo. She said im going to show you something that runs counter
to all the streotypes of indian people, she shown me a photo of
a group of indigenous women some were masked all were carrying rifles.
....Im not trying to glamorise guns
here ,the media is always doing this.i know in this situation these
indigenous women have guns because they are in a desperate situation
and they were forced to defend themselves.but the reason im showing
you this is because it goes completely against the image of idigenous
people as passive people always willing to accept the misery and
oppression they often face. The public doesnt think of brasilian
indians as people ready and willing to fight back.most brasilians
would get really surprised if i show them this photo.
....On this point i really agreed with
her.i told about the krikati indians of maranho who fought back
against the government and hydroelectric companies. Destroying powerlines.knocking
out power in cities.forcing the government who ignored years of
peaceful negotiations to finally pay attention to their need for
territorial demarcation.a courageous action by a small nation of
people but something that is not discussed.the image of passive
indigenous people is so powerful yet the zapatistas of mexico are
applauded by many in brasil and many wear zapatista t shirts but
i often ask myself arent they aware that most of the faces behind
the zapatista masks are in fact indigenous people.
....There are indigenous people involved
in resistance movements in various parts of the world.
....When I mentioned this she pulled
out a magazine. She said look at this magazine it has some good
information on indigenous people in brasil.but look very carefully
who publishes it .this magazine is done by missionaries.we cant
forget missionaries have an agenda.They are on a mission to convert.we
cant deny the assistance they give to indigenous communities doing
work that no one is else is doing.But we have to ask ourselves why
is no one else doing this work.where are the people from the left
and progressive movements.how is they have allowed the church to
gain so much access and power with indigenous communities here in
Brasil. (yet these same people will often complain how christianised
indigenous people have become). We cant forget the role the missionaries
played in the history of the slaughter of indigenous people. They
aided the spanish and portugese conquisadors as they tried to eliminate
indigenous cultures. To stop them from being heathens. They imposed
their language and religion on indigenous people. We know many indegenous
women and children were and still are sexually abused by missionaries
and priests. I have an indigenous friend who is now in the process
of suing the church. she along with other members of her family
had been sexually abused by catholic priests.
knew exactly what she was talking about.
....She stopped and laughed .you know
maybe thats why the church talks so much about the importance of
forgiveness.they know all the shit they have done.
....After we laughed at this she continued.the
point is indigenous people need to own and control their magazines
and we need to talk more about the difficult realities we face extreme
poverty, suicides, gringos coming in to steal our herbal and medicinal
knowledge, lack of land, the land that was stolen from us. We never
signed legal documents giving the portugese the right to our land
and resources.one day when we have more indigenous lawyers we will
challenge this in court.then they will be afraid.
need to talk about indigenous reality. Indigenous resistance. because
some of us are fighting back!
vinyl you have in your hands is the first release from our new label
I.R a label owned and controlled by people who have indigenous ancestry.in
brasil this record is made available free of charge to the public.this
vinyl is not to be sold under any circumstances in brasil.
....We are not an ong we didnt received
assistance from the government from a politiical party from any
ong from any record company to do this record.we are not rich but
we believe nothing comes without struggle and sacrifice and we believe
in the philosphy of Malcom X thats says by any means necessary.
Thats how you are receiving this record for free.we are part and
work alongside a group of artists like asian dub foundation,underground
resistance, Marcelo 'Troublemaker' Yuka who believe artists have
a role to play in the postive transformation of society.its not
just about making being famous ,making money and its definately
not about being afraid to live on less than 8.000 reias a year......
we write these liner notes a friend sends us an email saying that
in the period of ten days 3 indigenous people have been murdered
- 6 january
2003 in Rio Grande de Sul,3 guys kicked to death Leopoldo Crespo
a Caiagangue indian who was sleeping on a sidewalk.
- 9 january
Aldo de Silva Macuxi indian was killed in Roirama.
- 14 janury
Marcos Vernon a cacique Guarani-caiui was killed in regards
to a land conflict between indigenous people and ranchers in
Mato Grosso do Sul.
....She also informed me that one of
the guys who murdered galdino was now free.
We need to understand what happened to galdino is not an isolated
incident. From our perspective these incidents reflect a sentiment
that the lives of indigenous people are regarded as not as valuable
as those of other citizens.
....We need to remember those murdered
have families who will weep for them. They too like all other brasilians
had the potential to make a contribution to make a better brasil.
....Its time for resistance and awareness.
....As we like to say: FUCK BABYLON!