Pablo Albarenga
URUGUAY
Pablo Albarenga (Montevideo, 1990) After quitting his job in order to start photography, Pablo Albarenga travelled to Brazil worried about indigenous issues. Once there, he met the Guarani Kaiowá indigenous who are facing a hard conflict. Since then, he’s been photographing them in order to give visibility to this conflict, showing that bloody colonization process are still alive in Latin America. He is a visual storyteller and photojournalist based in Montevideo Operating in Latin America, exploring indigenous and traditional communities issues. He has collaborated with many national and international media. Deutsche Presse-Agentur – DPA, El País (ES), Amazônia Real (BR), La diaria (UY), El Observador (UY), La República (UY), Voces (UY), Lento Magazine (UY), THC Magazine (AR), Soft Secrets Magazine (NL).
Retomada – The Guarani Kaiowa Indigenous Conflict in Brazil
After the war of the triple alliance, Paraguay lost more than a million people and large portions of its territory were absorbed by Argentina and the Empire of Brazil. At that time, Brazilian law did not allow indigenous lands to be considered state, much less leased. The plan was to populate these new areas with Brazilians, but its first occupants – the Guaraní Kaiowá – were not consulted when their ancestral territories were ceded as a lease to the company Mate Laranjeira which exploited yerba mate, thus establishing a large state model of slave labor. With just 357.125 km², Mato Grosso do Sul is the state with the highest concentration of land in the entire country. In the 2016-17 harvest, it broke the national soybean production record with a volume of 8.49 million tons. If it were a country, this state would be the seventh world producer of soybeans and is considered a national level for its production capacity. But the oppression of indigenous peoples is not part of the equation when talking about development. In the past decade, more than 400 were killed directly or indirectly by the agri-business, occupying the highest position in another ranking: that of deaths in Brazil. The main causes of death are homicide and poisoning by agro-toxics. Evicted from their ancestral lands, the indigenous are forced to live for decades by the roadside. But despite their hostile living conditions, the Guarani Kaiowá do not stop surprising. Courage is the answer to the armed militia that, hired by ranchers, shoots mercilessly at adults and children. ‘My two children who accompanied me were killed by the ranchers.” First the daughter of the captain was killed, then our vice president died after my younger brother, after them, the ranchers killed my older brother. Then a child. Then my aunt died poisoned. The seventh was my husband, murdered after we occupied this land’, says Damiana, leader of the Apy Ka’y community. Even in this context of constant violence, the Kaiowá Guaraní do not give up and refuse to lower their heads. They are determined to recover their Tekoha (ancestral land). For this, they carry their most powerful weapon: prayer. After months praying during the entire night, the shaman, one of the most respected figures of the community says when is the right moment to recover their stolen lands. They know what they are facing, but they trust the words of Marçal de Souza Tupai, an indigenous leader killed at the age of 32, referring to the ranchers: ‘They believe that the solution is to bury us, but they did not realize that we are seeds

The Addis Foto Fest (AFF) was established in 2010 by award-winning photographer and cultural entrepreneur, Aida Muluneh. The festival is organized by Desta for Africa Creative Consulting PLC. AFF is a biennial international photography festival held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It has previously featured exhibitions, portfolio reviews, conferences, projections and film screenings in many different renowned venues. It is also the first and only international photography festival in East Africa.