Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Amazônia Ocupada exhibit and symposium to feature Amazonian scholars and Brazilian photographer João Farkas

February 8th, 2019 - February 9th, 2019

Latin American Library
Howard Tilton Memorial Library, 4th floor
Tulane University
New Orleans, LA

The Latin American Library in collaboration with the Stone Center for Latin American Studies, and the Departments of History and Spanish & Portuguese at Tulane University will be hosting an exhibit opening and talk titled Amazônia Ocupada, featuring Brazilian photographer João Farkas on Friday, February 8, 2019 at 5:00 PM. The evening will begin with a conversation between Joao Farkas and professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Christopher Dunn. A reception will follow.

Amazônia Ocupada features the work of Brazilian photographer João Farkas, who documented the mass migration of workers from throughout Brazil who came to the Amazon basin in the 1980s and 1990s to try their luck in gold mining, logging and cattle ranching, often with devastating effects on the environment and the indigenous peoples of the region. The exhibit also includes rare books, maps, and other material from the special collections of The Latin American Library tracing Western conceptualizations of the Amazon region beginning with the earliest post-contact explorations in the 16th century to 20th century narratives about the region.

João Farkas is one of Brazil’s leading documentary and environmental photographers with projects that document life in the coastal village of Trancoso, Bahia, the carnival masks of Maragojipe, Bahia, and the world’s largest tropical wetland, the Pantanal, as well as the occupation of the Amazon.

A related symposium featuring historians and anthropologists of the Amazon region will be held on Saturday February 9, 2019, in Jones Hall 100A, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Amazônia Ocupada Symposium Schedule

9:30 AM

10:00 AM
Opening remarks by Christopher Dunn, Professor of Spanish and Portuguese and Africana Studies, Tulane University

10:15 AM
Kris Lane, Profess and Chair of History, Tulane University
Mining the Margins of Amazonia: The Long View

11:00 AM
Seth Garfield, Professor of History, University of Texas
The Miracle of the (Guaraná) Loaves: Nineteenth-Century Brazilian Scientists’ Visions of Amazonia Transformed

11:45 AM
Felipe Cruz, Assistant Professor of History, Tulane University
Technology in the Colonization of the Amazon

12:30 PM
Lunch Break

1:45 PM
Remarks by João Farkas, Olhar a Amazônia

3:00 PM
Beth Conklin, Associate Profess and Chair of Anthropology, Vanderbilt University
Alternative Masculinities: Homosocial Ritual and the Cultivation of Gendered Responsibility for Care in Native Amazonia

3:45 PM
Sarah Mellman, Ph.D. student in Anthropology, Tulane University
Challenges to Brazilian Indigenous Education in the Human Rights Paradigm: The Case of the Ka’apor

4:30 PM
William Balée, Professor of Anthropology, Tulane University
Forests Peasants and Tropical Forest Trees in a Diachronic Context (Rio Iriri, eastern Brazilian Amazon)

5:15 PM
Roundtable discussion
Amazonia in the Bolsonaro Era

For more information, contact Madeline White via phone (504) 865-5681 or email

These events are sponsored by The Latin American Library, the Stone Center for Latin American Studies, the Center for Scholars of the School of Liberal Arts, the Departments of History and Spanish & Portuguese, and the Gender and Sexuality Studies Program at Tulane University.

Photo credit: João Farkas Amazonia

Brazil + People
Idelber Avelar
Professor - Spanish and Portuguese