Interview by Amalia Cordova on October 11, 2008
AC: What do you think of the process of being a selector
for the film and video festival?
ZY: Its been a good experience. I feel like I am learning
a lot because we are seeing film from various different places.
I am also identifying with some of the various indigenous experiences
that we're seeing on these videos.
AC: Which one of those experiences that you say you identify
with have impressed you most?
ZY: All the films we've seen are interesting, but some
of them definitely touch you more and strike an emotional cord,
in that they show very serious problems that various indigenous
peoples are facingin some cases healthcare problems, in
other invasions of lands by companiesand they show the reality
of indigenous peoples. Some of the films show the indigenous who
still have their language and have their culture, and other films
show people who are trying to revitalize and find their culture
again, so it shows a lot of the variety of indigenous experience.
AC: Did you see any works that particularly drew your
attention, regarding the creative process?
ZY: There were a couple of things that I thought were
really interesting and different, one was the use of fiction,
and the other one is animation. You know, to be able to tell stories
through drawings, it make you think, "Wow, we can do that
in my community, we could tell stories of our elders or our myths,
maybe we can do something like that." The variety and these
different new methods are really interesting.
AC: During the meeting when we talked about certain films
or videos you expressed interest in taking the initiative to show
in your community. Could you could tell me a little about that?
ZY: Yeah, the people in my community really like watching
videos from other places; I always say it is like traveling but
without having to leave your house. You can watch these videos
and see different cultures, see different people, different realities,
so I really like showing these videos to my community. It's interesting
for them, and they are more informed about reality, about the
indigenous reality. You know, they don't always have the opportunity
that we do to travel and see other cultures.
AC: Would you like to have your own film festival in your
ZY: Yes, I would love to bring all these videos to my
community and show them, not only to my community and my people,
but also the other indigenous peoples in Acte. I think that would
be an amazing thing to do, it would be really great. It would
be important also to show them the different realities that are
in our world, what is going on in the indigenous world.
AC: From the films that we've been seeing, do you think
they were giving a realistic reflection of the reality and the
situation of indigenous peoples of Latin America?
ZY: When I leave here I feel like I'm going to know a
lot about what's going on in Latin America and with indigenous
peoples of Latin America, not only about the kind of work they
are doing in video and film, but also about the realities they
face, the problemswhether its a group that's trying to regain
their culture, or another one facing health problems or mining
companies or slave labor, or the various different problems and
realities that indigenous people in Latin America face.
AC: We've also seen the inclusion of a lot of historical
material in the films, what do you think about that?
ZY: I think it's really interesting, the use of historical
images in the videos. But I also think its really interesting
and important that [the images] go back to the community, because
often times people in a community don't get the choice to go to
a museum or to a library or to an archive to find these materials,
so it is an opportunity for us to see these historical images
and recapture some of our history that maybe is lost, for example,
young people may not remember or know what contact was like when
the invaders arrived, so it is interesting to be able to bring
that back to the community and show it in video. This work that
we're doing with historical images has been really important for
us to be able to bring that back to the community and, you know,
show the respect that we need to have for our history.
AC: You work with the project Video nas Aldeias/Video
in the Villages (VNA). What do you think about the work coming
from Brazil, from VNA, after seeing all the work here from other
parts of Latin America?
ZY: This is my first time seeing lots of videos outside
of the Video in the Villages project, and its been really, really
wonderful. Before I had only seen VNA projects, different projects
from throughout Brazil, and I can see the difference between the
work that we do with and with the other projects that I've been
seeing now. I think we are a bit more advanced, maybe, with knowing
how to tell our story and with some of the technical aspects.
Certainly I have learned a lot from watching these videos, and
it's a very useful experience to see them and bring that back
when I go back to Brazil.
AC: What would you like to see in Indigenous video from
Latin America, maybe at some future festival?
ZY: I'd like to see video coming from the different indigenous
people that we're not seeing this time. Who knows, one day it
would be great to have video from all of the indigenous peoples
of Latin America.
AC: Is there anything else you would like to say?
ZY: I want to thank the museum for giving me this opportunity.
It has been really wonderful to be able to participate in this
and to see various images, and I know that I will be returning
to Brazil much enriched.
Image credit: Zezinho
Yube - courtesy of Vídeo nas Aldeias