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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 21, 2007

Indigenous Latin American Filmmakers Share Work, Insights Feb. 23, 27

Caimi Waiásse and David Hernández Palmar, members of two different South American indigenous groups who work with video and other media technologies, will visit the University of Iowa at the end of February. Waiásse belongs to the central Brazilian Xavante. Palmar is Wayuu, a group that resides in Venezuela and Colombia.

The filmmakers' visit will include two public events. "Complicating 'Indigenous Video': Reflections on the work of Caimi Waiásse Xavante, (Brazil) and David Hernandez Palmar (Wayuu, Venezuela/Colombia)," will take place at 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23, in 112 Macbride Hall. In a moderated discussion, they will show clips of recent work and reflect on their work and collaborations using communications technology to address contemporary issues and indigenous cultural identity on a local, national and global level. Laura Graham, associate professor of anthropology in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will moderate their discussion.

From 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27, in 101 Becker Communication Studies Building, there will be a film screening highlighting one of each of the filmmakers' projects. Waiásse will show "Darini:  Spiritual Initiation of Xavante children." Hernández will screen "The Liberation of Yosuu."

A member of the Xavante ethnic group and resident of the Pimentel Barbosa community in the central Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, Waiassé has worked as a filmmaker since 1990, when Graham introduced the first video camera to his community. Waiassé made his first video, "You Have to Be Curious," in 1996 in collaboration with the non-governmental organization, Videos nas Aldeias-Smalltown Video. Together with Video nas Aldeias, he participated in a collaborative project with other native Brazilian filmmakers that resulted in the video "Wapte Mnhono" in 1999. His 2005 collaboration with Brazilian photographer Rosa Gauditano and Jorge Protodi, a Xavante colleague from Pimentel Barbosa, resulted in his latest video, "Darini: Spiritual Initiation of Xavante Children." Waiassé has participated and screened his work at numerous international and indigenous film festivals.

Hernández Palmar is Wayúu and a member of the Iipuana clan from Maracaibo, Venezuela. He is the first native Venezuelan to be registered with the National Institute of Cinema as a professional photographer and documentary filmmaker. He is currently working toward degrees from the Escuela de Fotografia Julio Vengoechea and a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications from Universidad Rafael Belloso Chacin. Palmar has participated in numerous photographic exhibits. In 2005, the South American Art Company that Hernández Palmar co-founded with his cousin won a prestigious award that recognized the company's innovative program for translating indigenous art forms into Western fashion.

For more information or special accommodations to attend these events, contact Brian Gollnick, director of the Latin American Studies Program, at 319-335-2243 or

The UI Latin American Studies Program, International Programs, the UI Anthropology Department, the UI Institute for Cinema and Culture, the UI American Indian and Native Studies Program, the UI American Indian Student Association and the UI Center for Ethnic Studies in the Arts sponsor these events.

The Latin American Studies Program fosters cross-disciplinary teaching and research on Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. The program uses this region as a framework for exploring thematic issues in the disciplines of anthropology, art, history, political science, Spanish and Portuguese, and women's studies. The program offers an undergraduate certificate and an undergraduate minor in Latin American studies. Both the minor and certificate programs address the geography, history, politics, economy, art, literature and social organization of the Latin American and Caribbean areas.

The Latin American Studies Program is part of International Programs, which enables University of Iowa students, faculty, staff and the public to learn from and about the world. Its offices, degree programs and events provide life-changing opportunities on campus and abroad, heighten intellectual and cultural diversity, and give all University constituents access to vital international knowledge.  For more information, visit or call 319-353-2700. International Programs is part of the Office of the Provost.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Joe Nugent, 319-335-2026,; Program: Brian Gollnick, 319-335-2243,; Writer: Kelli Andresen.