Fernanda Liberti

Winning body of work

For many centuries, the Tupinambá ethnicity was considered extinct, due to being the first native Brazilian people to get in touch with Europeans, who decimated them and their culture. In recent years, the people from the indigenous community of Serra do Padeiro, south of Bahia, Brazil, were able to claim back their rightful title and land. After years of struggles which include death threats and attempts, a fight to reclaim their ancestral land which was being destroyed by farmers – which lead to imprisonment and persecution from both local and federal authorities, to the recreation of the long lost Tupinambá mantle: today the people from Serra do Padeiro are a key example into the sovereignty of their own narrative and people. The people pictured here can be seen as the true essence of the Brazilian people and the ability of our indigenous people to learn western ways of living to adapt: many of them are academics, lawyers, teacher, doctors, activists and leaders. Contrarily to what many people say, that indigenous people aren’t allowed to progress outside their community, they are here to prove that indigenous people can be whoever they want to be.

The Tupinambás