Baniwa Botany

Denilson Baniwa


Returning to Festival Theaterformen in 2022, Indigenous artists Denilson Baniwa and Naine Terena, from Brazil, engage with botanical life and raise awareness about some of the environmental challenges of our times. 

Denilson Baniwa, in a series of projections titled Baniwa Botany, reflects on his investigations of botanical illustrations by traveler artists and naturalists, with a particular interest in the work of German artist Maria Sybilla Merian and the stages of insect metamorphosis. For this year's Theaterformen, he will bring together the idea of botany and metamorphosis, just like Maria did. Instead of using drawings of eggs, caterpillars, chrysalises and butterflies, though, he will show traditional Baniwa drawings of flowers, animals and plants that represent the different stages of life.

Denilson Baniwa was born in Barcelos, in the state of Amazonas, and is a member of the Baniwa people. As an activist for the rights of indigenous peoples, he has been giving lectures, workshops and courses since 2015 and is mainly active in the south and southeast of Brazil as well as in Bahia. In 2018, he participated in the artistic residency of the fourth Edition of the Corpus Urbis festival in Oiapoque, Amapá. He participated in numerous exhibitions, such as at the Pinacoteca de São Paulo, the Centro de Artes Helio Oiticica, the Museu Afro Brasil, and the Bienal de Sidney. Besides his activity as a visual artist, Denilson Baniwa is also an advertiser, mediator of digital culture and hacker, who contributes to the construction of an Indigenous language in various media such as magazines, films and television series. In 2019, he won the Pipa Award in the online category.

Leaflet Baniwa Botany

Production credits

Drawings Denilson Baniwa Production Jamille Pinheiro Photos Moritz Küstner