Brazil's Indigenous Women Defending Amazon March in Capital for 'Territory: Our Body, Our Spirit'

Apib Comunicação March – Aug 2019. Territory: Our body, Our Spirit. Apib Comunicação via Flickr

Apib Comunicação March – Aug 2019. Territory: Our body, Our Spirit. Apib Comunicação via Flickr

Rayanne Cristine Maximo Franca, 25 years old, is part of the Indigenous Youth Network from Brazil. She recently participated, as part of Brazil’s official delegation, in the 61st session of the CSW (Commission on Status of Women) that discussed “The empowerment of indigenous women” as an emerging issue. She also participated and the 16th session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and talked to UN Women about the pressing issues that concern indigenous young women in Brazil.

As part of a UN Women project, Voice of Indigenous women, generously funded by the Indigenous Peoples Programme of the Embassy of Norway, Ms. Franca has organized and gathered the perspectives of young indigenous women in Brazil to be included in the first national agenda for indigenous women. Her story is related to Sustainable Development Goal 5, that aims for the empowerment of all women and girls, their equal rights, leadership and participation; as well as SDG 3, which aims to ensure health and wellbeing, including universal access to sexual and reproductive health.

AOC learned more information about this influential young Brazilian Amazon activist on Global Landscapes Forum, after reading her new interview in Dazed Digital online. Conducted as thick black clouds of toxic smoke blanketed the city of São Paulo on August 19, 2019,

Simply stated, the Amazon is on ablaze, fueled by forest fires in “Bolivia and Paraguay, reaching parts of Southern Brazil, Northern Argentina and Uruguay. It’s been proven that all outbreaks of fire in the Amazon are caused by human activity, mainly due to deforestation for the sake of corporate agriculture.”

Rayanne Cristine Maximo Franca spoke with Sarah Hurtes about the painful realities of events in the ecosystem called the “lungs” of Planet Earth.

Apib Comunicação March – Aug 2019. Territory: Our body, Our Spirit. Apib Comunicação via Flickr

Apib Comunicação March – Aug 2019. Territory: Our body, Our Spirit. Apib Comunicação via Flickr

In Trump-obsessed America, news of tens of thousands of Brazilian women protesting in Brazil’s capital Brasilia barely made news. Denouncing the Trumpian, right-wing “genocidal”policies of new president Jair Bolsonaro, the women marched under the banner of “Territory: Our Body, Our Spirit. Brazil’s indigenous women are human rights defenders and guardians the world’s land and forests. They’ve made it clear that women are the most impacted by agribusiness, climate change, sexism, and racism.

Prejudice and racism are the main problems we face, due to Brazilian society as a whole largely denying our very own existence. There is a huge struggle in recognising the existence of indigenous people in Brazil, women even more.

Despite all the colonisation processes, there are indigenous populations who fight to preserve their multifaceted identities. Over the last few years, a strengthening of those identities with the purpose of cultural rescue and validation is frowned upon by many in our country who pride themselves on disliking those different from them. Besides, for young indigenous women, access to information and participation in public policy remains a challenge. Rayanne Cristine Maximo Franca

The Dazed Digital interview is a must-read, so make time for it.  More images of the August 2019 Territory: Our body, Our Spirit. Apib Comunicação via Flickr.

Apib Comunicação March – Aug 2019. Territory: Our body, Our Spirit. Apib Comunicação via Flickr

Apib Comunicação March – Aug 2019. Territory: Our body, Our Spirit. Apib Comunicação via Flickr