Another Future is Possible, but not without indigenous wisdom. Stewardship of natural ecosystems by Indigenous Peoples poses a systemic relevance for global sustainability efforts, as Indigenous communities have been shown to protect 80% of the planet’s biodiversity.
Possible Futures is an array of initiatives, dedicated to cultivating nature-positive and symbiotic modes of living globally to ensure a long-term future of life on the planet. The programme offers holistic and regenerative perspectives based on indigenous wisdom, reshaping how we inhabit and interact with the natural environment.
The Yawanawá communities of Aldeia Sagrada and Nova Esperança are coming together with Impact One, and a host of cultural and platform partners to provide a new model of cross-industry collaboration, dedicated to establishing more holistic and equitable pathways to environmental sustainability, with indigenous wisdom at their core.
The Possible Futures initiative was born out of Genesis, the indigenous outreach programme commissioned by Mikolaj Sekutowicz and curated by Jeanne de Kroon as part of Therme Art’s Wellbeing Culture Forum. As part of this, in September 2022 Therme Art and Impact One followed Chiefs Nixiwaka and Putanny Yawanawá’s invitation to meet in the Yawanawá Sacred Village of Aldeia Sagrada. Since then the initiative has flourished to become a platform to listen and amplify indigenous voices to co-develop a shared perspective on true value impact, as Possible Futures.
With a population of over 1,200, the Yawanawa people live in villages nestled along the banks of the Gregório river in the Brazilian state of Acre, where they are guardians of thousands of acres of rainforest. Their history and culture are rich and diverse, with a deep connection to the natural world through their ancestral wisdom, plant medicine and environmental stewardship. The Yawanawá people's traditional way of life is based on subsistence agriculture, hunting and fishing, and an exceptional musical culture. Their way of life and deep cultural connection to the forest has served as an inspiration for the director and cast of the Hollywood movie Avatar: The Way of Water (2022).The Yawanawa community is represented in this project by chiefs Biraci Nixiwaka Brasil, Putanny Yawanawa and Isku Kua Biraci Brasil Junior, leaders of the villages of Aldeia Sagrada and Nova Esperança.
Refik Anadol is an internationally renowned media artist, director, and pioneer in the aesthetics of machine intelligence. He currently resides in Los Angeles, California, where he owns and operates Refik Anadol Studio and RAS LAB, the Studio’s research practice centered around discovering and developing trailblazing approaches to data narratives. Anadol is also teaching at UCLA’s Department of Design Media Arts from which he obtained his Master of Fine Arts. Residing at the crossroads of art, science, and technology, Anadol’s site-specific three-dimensional data sculptures and paintings, live audio/visual performances, and immersive installations take varied virtual and physical forms. Entire buildings come to life, floors, walls, and ceilings disappear into infinity, breathtaking aesthetics take shape from large swaths of data, and what was once invisible to the human eye becomes visible, offering the audience a new perspective on, and narrative of their worlds.
Impact One is an impact investment initiative that promotes human and environmental wellbeing by creating models for nature-positive economies. Developing projects in innovation, infrastructure and culture, Impact One proposes practical, scalable and specific solutions for integrated urban and regional development. Impact One offers the infrastructure and construction industries transformational paths forward from major environmental threats to drivers of ecosystem protection and regeneration. Questioning current trends and approaches, Impact One aims to offer a new vision for the future of cities, one that is possible.
Therme Art is the cultural incubator of Therme Group. Responsible for the outreach to creative communities, it curates forums between culture, science and society and works with internationally renowned artists and architects, as well as emerging talents, to commission and develop site-specific artistic projects that challenge the limitations of conventional exhibition spaces and redefine contemporary art viewing. Therme Art provides the resources and means required to fulfil artists’ visions which cannot be realised in galleries or museums, regardless of their complexity, production, installation, and long-term maintenance.
IN A HISTORIC COLLABORATION, THE YAWANAWá COMMUNITY AND REFIK ANADOL HAVE CO-CREATED AN ARTWORK SERIES SHAPED BY THE CULTURAL HERITAGE OF THE YAWANAWá PEOPLE AND SYNTHESISED WITH WEATHER DATA FROM THE YAWANAWá LANDS IN THE TERRA INDIGENA RIO GREGORIO.
With the debut of their first-of-its-kind artwork series, the partners mark the onset of a long-term collaboration with the goal to develop regenerative business models using blockchain technology to support indigenous communities’ stewardship of their lands, and by extension, the protection of some of THE planet’s most vital ecosystems.
Refik Anadol collaborates with Brazil's Yawanawá people on Amazon rainforest data sculpture