Artist: Gleice Mere

* 1972 in Brazil

1989 – 1994 Studies Journalism at the “Universidade de Brasilia“

1995 – 1999 Studies Photodesign in Dortmund

2001 – 2004 Free-lance photography projects on the history and culture of Brazil

2005 Degree as a master student at the Academy of Visual Arts, Leipzig

Examples of awards: “UNICEF Photo of the Year 2002“; FotoArte Award, Brazil

Exhibitions in Brazil (Photo Biennale), Germany and Holland, to name a few



Before Columbus, around 80 million people lived on the entire American continent according to the scientist Tzevetan Todorov.

A short while ago, the archaeologist Anna Roosevelt completed an estimate of the population numbers of the indigenous population of Brazil in the XV. Century – pre-Columbus. According to this estimate, the indigenous population amounted to 5 to 8 million people at that time. The Brazilian linguist Aryon Rodrigues found out that there were around 1.175 different tribes and languages on the American continent – even during the times of the “discoveries“. Nowadays, there are only 180 languages left, threatened by slow extinction.

Protecting the rights of the indigenous people has received a lot of attention from international organisations, based on the Convention 169 about the protection of the rights of the indigenous peoples. It came into effect in 1991.

This reminds us of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Pact on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Pact on Civil and Political rights. The Convention acknowledges the endeavour of the indigenous peoples to control their institutions, their way of life and their economic development within the political systems they live in. The Convention is the only internationally binding agreement globally codifying the rights of 300 million indigenous people. Brazil has signed and ratified the Convention.

The “Indigenous Bear“ reminds us that this Convention ought to be signed by all the nations of this world.

The images show indigenous people of the Ashaninka- and Tupari tribes. On the back are all the names of the last remaining 235 indigenous tribes of Brazil – applied like body paint. On the front are traditional body painting styles for men and women of the Aruá- and the Tupari tribes. The hat and the necklaces are typical pieces of jewellery of indigenous peoples. Football is the favourite sport of the Brazilian population and played everywhere. The Native American tribes also love this sport and play it in the tropical rainforest.

Gleice Mere

Sponsor: Hamburg Süd