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Vortrag | Photography as Demarcation: Claudia Andujar and Barbara Brändli Among the Yanomami in Brazil and Venezuela

08.02.2024 | 18:00


Organised by Susanne Klengel, project Border Temporalities and/in Literature, Research Area 1: "Competing Communities" in cooperation with the Institute of Latin American Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin. This event is part of the lecture series "Border Temporalities: Doing Literature in a World of Walls".


Speaker: Dr. Michel Otayek  

– lecture in English –

Photography needn’t simply document. As a practice entailing more than operating a camera, it becomes a platform for agency in a myriad of ways. This lecture considers the involvement of Swiss-born photographers Claudia Andujar and Barbara Brändli with Yanomami communities on both sides of the Brazil-Venezuela border in the postwar period. Working independently from one another, Andujar and Brändli became entangled with efforts to protect Yanomami territories from the encroachment of national societies. In this sense, they contributed to demarcation strategies on both sides of the border, with markedly different outcomes. For all their differences, Andujar’s and Brändli’s experiences illustrate the role of Central European women in advancing modes of photographic engagement with indigenous communities across Latin America that contrast sharply with earlier traditions of scientistic fieldwork under colonial paradigms.


Dr. Michel Otayek is an art historian specializing in 20th-century photography and print culture in Ibero-America. He holds an M.A. from Hunter College (2012) and a Ph.D. from New York University (2019). His research focuses on the production and circulation of photographic images, emphasizing questions of gender, mobility, and cultural exchange. His curatorial experience includes the exhibition Told and Untold: The Photo Stories of Kati Horna in the Illustrated Press" (Americas Society, 2016), and he collaborated with the Reina Sofía Museum's online portals Rethinking Guernica (2017) and Front and Rearguard: Women in the Spanish Civil War (2021). Dr. Otayek’s current research project at the Lateinamerika-Institute (funded by the Einstein Stiftung and the Berlin University Alliance) considers the production of photographic images under conditions of unequal conviviality and their transnational circulation through a wide range of print materials and exhibitions; he is preparing a monograph titled Culture Brokers: Ethnographic Photography by European Women in Latin America.


Zeit & Ort

08.02.2024 | 18:00

ZI Lateinamerika-Institut | Raum 201
Rüdesheimer Str. 54-56, 14197 Berlin

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Susanne Klengel