For the first time, AM indigenous will have his poem exhibited at a festival in Minas Gerais

The Amazonian multi-artist Márcia Kambeba in a promotional photo shoot (Release/Press Office)
Adrisa De Góes – From Cenarium Magazine

MANAUS (AM) – The multi-artist and indigenous Amazonian Márcia Kambeba will have her poem “Kumiça Jenó” (“Hear and Speak”, in Portuguese), written in the Tupi Kambeba language, exposed in the second edition of the “Festival of Light”, from this Thursday, 11, until Sunday, 14. The festival mixes public art, music, technology and architecture in the streets of Belo Horizonte (MG).

As part of the interactive art circuit, the poetic creation will be printed in a sign on the facade of the Chagas Dória building, a historic construction located in the Lower Center of the capital of Minas Gerais. The writer’s participation in the event will bring, for the first time, poetry written in the indigenous language and translated into Portuguese, aiming to highlight the literature of the Amazon and of the native peoples.

A native of Alto Solimões, born and raised in the Belém do Solimões village, of the Tikuna ethnic group, in Tabatinga (1,106 kilometers from Manaus), Márcia Kambeba is the daughter of a father and mother belonging to the Omágua/Kambeba and Kokama ethnic groups. She told the CENARIUM MAGAZINE that it is necessary to strengthen indigenous resistance in the most diverse spaces of society.

The multi-artist Márcia Kambeba (Reproduction/Personal File)

“I see this invitation as a necessary way to occupy all the spaces and be able to echo resistance, culture, identity with decoloniality and always talking about the Amazon as this subject of right. It strengthens the fight that has been made related to the indigenous peoples who live in the Amazon and throughout the Brazilian territory”, highlights the writer.

Read more: Amazonian artists exhibit works on Paulista Avenue in São Paulo


Besides being a writer and poet, Márcia Kambeba is a photographer, speaker, composer, activist, educator, actress, scriptwriter, presenter, singer, storyteller, lecturer on indigenous and environmental issues, in Brazil and abroad, and also gives recitals. With all the cultural and professional baggage she carries, she fights against the colonial device that makes indigenous languages impossible.

“For a long time, [the indigenous language] was considered as ‘slang’, which, in fact, would be mother tongues spoken in various linguistic trunks, and were silenced by contact. When we do a work like this, where the first writing is in the mother tongue, and then in Portuguese, we are saying that we do not bow to the colonial device. We do exist, and there is not only an ‘Indian face’, but an identity that makes us belong to a people”, defends the multi-artist.

Read more: President of the STF participates in the launching of newsletters in four indigenous languages in the AM


Márcia Wayna Kambeba has a degree in Geography from the State University of Amazonas (UEA), with a specialization in Environmental Education from the Salesian Faculty Dom Bosco, and a master’s degree in Geography from the Federal University of Amazonas (Ufam). Since 2011, she resides in Pará and is pursuing her PhD in Linguistic Studies at the Federal University of Pará (UFPA).

The multi-artist has five published books. The first, and best known, is called “Ay Kakyri Tama” (I live in the city). The others are: “The Place of Ancestral Knowledge”; “Forest Knowledge”; “Kumiça Jenó: poetic narratives of the beings of the forest”; “The Kambeba people and the drop of water”. As an actress, she participated in the miniseries Diário da Floresta, of TV Cultura, as Soapor, portraying the Surui Paiter people. As a screenwriter, she worked on the Netflix series Invisible City.

Márcia Kambeba has a number of works and participations in her various fields, among them: member of the Academia Formiguense de Letras, in Formiga (MG); member of the International Academy of Brazilian Literature in the USA; she has studied poetry in several universities in Brazil and abroad, such as L’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Sorbone University and Kingston Universit.

Read more: Ancestry: national anthem is sung in the indigenous language Tikuna at the inauguration of women ministers

Provocation to the public

Event coordinator Júlia Flores explained to CENARIUM that the exhibition of the poem by the writer Márcia Kambeba, in the Tupi language spoken by the people of the ethnic group, aims to provoke curiosity and strangeness to the visitors of the art festival, by proposing contact between the public and the artist without the mediation of the Portuguese language.

“Why do we completely ignore the original languages of Brazil? What is this thing that we speak, that we want to learn the languages of the whole world, and we are not interested in looking at our own history?”, asks the coordinator. “The building where Márcia is intervening is on Sapucaí street, which in Tupi means ‘river that screams’. We wanted to have this dialogue with the invisible indigenous presence in the city”, she adds.

First edition of the Festival of Light, in 2021 (Ísis Medeiros/Promotion)

Festival of Light

From this Thursday the 11th until next Sunday the 4th, the “Festival of Light” will transform Belo Horizonte into a public art circuit. The art festival will present installations, shows and video mapping projections, created by international artists and artists from all over Brazil.

The event promises to mix urban art, music, technology, and architecture to create a ludic and luminous environment “in a great oneiric universe, incorporating fantasy into everyday life. The festival, created by Casinha Cultural Association and Híbrido Comunicação e Cultura, is a co-production with Pública, producer of Circuito Urbano de Arte (Cura).


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