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The Anthill


Country: UK/Brazil

Duration: 17 mins | 20 Seconds

Colour, Sound, Ratio: 16:9

Against the backdrop of a modernist Brasilia, the film follows the ascension of indigenous people into politics, a symbolic triumph over centuries of marginalization. Exploring social-technical entanglements and the use of indigenous video-activism, the film draws parallels between the resilience of the indigenous people and the intricate workings of an anthill, revealing the power of collective action in the face of oppression.
The Anthill was shot on a mobile phone during two main events in the capital. The first event shows the ascension of the ramp of the National Congress during the inauguration of Deputee Celia Xabriabá and Minister Sonia Guajara. The second is the 19th Free Land Camp, a gathering of 6000 indigenous people demanding their rights to land demarcation. In both, indigenous video activism takes center stage, capturing the political power of a marginalized community broadcasting their message to the world. Drawing inspiration from Hito Steyerl’s text 'In Defense of the Poor Image' and Tom Kissock-Mamede’s research on Indigenous Video Activism, The Anthill updates the concept of poor images to a current setting. High and low-resolution images blur, merging mainstream media with social activism, weaving a tapestry of technology and resistance. As the film unfolds, a new narrative takes over —one of germination and emergence. Through symbolic cosmovisions, restorative justice, mobile images, and collective intelligence, the film reclaims the modernist Brasilia as an indigenous territory, creating a path for a more ancestral future.

Experimental Documentary Filmed and Edited by Joanna Mamede

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