Claudia Andujar’s “The Yanomami Struggle”
              Rachael Rakes
              “Can’t I accept the reality,” photographer Claudia Andujar wrote in her notebook during a 1976 trip to the Yanomami territories of the Brazilian Amazon, “of the poorly resolved contact of the Indians with the ‘Whites’…? Do I want to delude myself? Do I now want to prove that here I found simplicity of living?” By this point Andujar, who has been depicting and advocating for the Yanomami for the past 50 years, had already begun to witness significant changes overtaking these communities, due in large part to the influx of state infrastructure, agricultural projects, and missionaries. Her body of work over these decades is imbued with a belief that an empathic and creative depiction of the indigenous group could help protect them from the same societies that consume these images. Her recurring approach is “salvage,” in the anthropological preservationist sense, and has moved towards that goal through artistic representation, ethnography, and direct activism. Fondation Cartier’s retrospective “The Yanomami Struggle,” which was first initiated by Instituto Moreira Salles, São Paulo, traces Andujar’s relationship to the Yanomami, and presents a biographical, anthropological, and psychological portrait of Andujar herself. Born in 1931 in Switzerland to a Swiss mother and Hungarian Jewish father, and …

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