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A screening of the short film by the Guarani-Mbyá Indigenous filmmaker, Kuaray Ariel Ortega, formed part of the eclectic representation of this ambitious, collaborative research project at City.

By Mr Shamim Quadir(Senior Communications Officer), Published

The Indigenous Peoples responding to COVID-19 in Brazil: social arrangements in a Global Health emergency (PARI-c) project has been conducted over the course of 2021 to present, and entirely remotely.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in the absence of clear national public-health leadership, most of the 300 different indigenous peoples of Brazil have had to take the responsibility of containing the spread of the virus among their communities into their own hands.

These communities are at high risk as a result of recent socio-political developments such as mining development and migration into remote areas, and it is also likely that many indigenous COVID-19 infections and deaths remain undocumented.

Project lead, Dr Maria Paula Prates, is a Visiting Lecturer at the School of Health and Psychological Sciences at City, University of London. She recently hosted an audio-visual event at the University, showcasing some of the wide-ranging work PARI-c collaborators have undertaken.

This included a photographic exhibition highlighting the communities involved in the project, and a screening of the short film “Ours spirits keep coming” (Nhe’e kuery jogueru teri) presented and discussed by the Guarani-Mbyá Indigenous filmmaker, Kuaray Ariel Ortega, and the anthropologist Bruno Huyer.

Audience watching a PARI-c filmAudience watching short film “Ours spirits keep coming” (Nhe’e kuery jogueru teri) 

PARI-c organisers showcasing exhibition elements

Showcasing elements of PARI-c artwork at the event

Professor Valéria Macedo, Federal University of São Paulo, and Dr Prates also hosted a panel discussion around the collaborative research process between indigenous and non-indigenous people that has been required to deliver this ambitious project.

PARI-c collaborators in discussion at panel sessionPARI-c collaborators in discussion at panel session

The PARI-c research relies on a core network of 60 researchers and 20 further collaborators – indigenous and non-indigenous – throughout the Brazilian territory.

Anthropology is the study of human societies and cultures and their development. Using anthropological methodology and knowledge, such as rapid appraisal and participatory ethnographies, which includes online interview, documentary, and bibliographic and visual data, the project researchers are identifying indigenous responses and mobilisation of strategies to mitigate the risks of COVID-19. They also bearing witness to the hitherto undocumented impact of the pandemic on indigenous lives.

Reflecting on the event, Dr Prates said:

It was emotional and beautiful, and was an important step toward PARI-c results' dissemination.

By engaging decision-makers within indigenous communities through an anthropological approach we aim to facilitate and shape more effective responses to this pandemic.

Find out more

Visit the PARI-c website

Listen to audio recorded oral messages (with transcription) from Talcira Gomes, an indigenous, Guarani leader, to Dr Prates, voicing her concerns about the developing COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the research project outline

Follow PARI-c on Twitter

Visit the webpage of the School of Health Sciences at City, University of London