Episode 48 / 7 July 2020
It’s been a while since we last took an in-depth look into an international project in this podcast. Our guest today, Thiago Jesus, will help us change that. Thiago is based at an arts research centre in London, but spends a lot of his time working with Indigenous communities in the Amazon region. In a way, he connects two fragile zones – Britain, which is among the hardest hit European countries, and the Amazon region, where indigenous communities are among the groups most vulnerable to the virus.
How has the work of international cultural relations changed in times where there seems to be virtue in (at least physical) distancing and isolation rather than in interconnectedness? How is arts based research changing, when the problems at hand are as down-to-earth as how to get supplies into distant communities without exposing them to the virus? These are some of the questions we will be talking about today.
In conversation with Martin Zierold
Thiago Jesus is Senior Project Manager at People’s Palace Projects (PPP), an arts research centre based at Queen Mary University of London. PPP leads a research programme of cultural exchange with the Kuikuro Indigenous people from Xingu Territory, exploring ways in which arts and technology can support the preservation of fragile communities from the Amazon region. Among the many projects PPP has developed and supported is the theatre production „The Encounter“ of Simon McBurney and his performance group Complicité. Thiago holds a MA in Visual Culture from the University of Westminster, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He has a vast range of experience as a creative producer, researcher, and curator with a focus on cross-cultural initiatives fostering knowledge exchange, innovation, cultural heritage, social and environmental justice.
Fundraising campaign: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/Kuikuroagainstcovid
People’s Palace Projects website: https://peoplespalaceprojects.org.uk/en/
PPP’s page for Indigenous work: https://peoplespalaceprojects.org.uk/en/projects/xingu-encounter/
Ologiko, documentary produced by Indigenous filmmaker Takumã Kuikuro about the artistic residence for cultural preservation in the village that I have produced between 2017-18. It gives a good panorama of PPP’s work before the pandemic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVYmSO2n7lE&t=171s
Video that Takumã has produced for the online screening of The Encounter, which gives a great perspective about their community (English captions): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5i0tHR6EFU&t=28s
The oped Takumã has written for America’s Quarterly: https://www.americasquarterly.org/article/indigenous-brazilians-are-having-to-look-abroad-for-support/
And the videos they have produced for their fundraising campaign (English captions)