On 13 July 2023, Yawanawa Chiefs Nixiwaka and Isku Kua, along with media artist Refik Anadol, gathered with Impact One at Scorpios Mykonos. Marking the first iteration of the Possible Futures collaboration with the Yawanawa, the co-created artwork by Refik Anadol and the community Winds of Yawanawa was unveiled. In attendance were also Yawanawa members Ninunihu and Ykashahu Yawanawa, along with Refik’s partner Efsun Erkiliç and the Impact One team and Scorpios partners, who all worked toward making the launch a reality.
To commemorate the historic moment of realising and presenting Winds of Yawanawa, CEO of Impact One Mikolaj Sekutowicz hosted a panel discussion to discuss the significance of the cross-industry collaboration from which the artwork emerged, and how Web3 can be used an additional driver of global stewardship of natural ecosystems.
Panellists included Founder and CEO of Cogni, Archie Ravishankar; Co-Founder of Meta4 Capital, Nabyl Charania; Scorpios founder Thomas Heyne; Chairwoman of the Board of Impact One, Roksana Ciurysek-Gedir; entrepreneur Richard Caring; Executive Producer of Refik Anadol Studio, Efsun Erkilic; Chief Nixiwaka Yawanawá; Indigenous activist Mariana Maia; visionary young Yawanawa Leader Isku Kua; and new media artist Refik Anadol.
“I am a part of the new generation that has witnessed the new technologies arriving within our territories. We understood the need to adapt to these new instruments that you bring in order to adapt to this new reality. I don't need to fight with my bow and arrows anymore. I only need to speak the same language as you. Who would have thought that indigenous people from the middle of the forest living in such a traditional way would today be launching an artwork with this artificial intelligence and all the technology it involves. It doesn't make me and my people less Yawanawá or less indigenous. When I return back home I will be walking barefoot on the ground. I will continue to play in the river with my children and lighting my fire under the starry sky. But when I want to speak to you or to my brothers, I will take my phone and speak to whoever I want and continue protecting my forests in the same way. But now speaking the same language as you.”
- Yawanawa Chief Isku Kua
“Today, I am witnessing the first dialogue of our civilisation. Because here I stand, not just as a Yawanawá Indigenous man from the Amazon, but I speak for nature itself. We are not the lungs of the world. We are the heart of the world.”
- Yawanawa Chief Nixiwaka
“This movement where [the Yawanawa] are now living is the time of culture and the time of spirituality, where they are able to share with the world, and be empowered. And this is very much through these alliances. So the people, the Yawanawá people, are people that have always been open to alliances. They have, even in their stories, prophecies about this. So it's also due to these alliances that they are living in the abundance they are living today and that we are able to be spearheading such innovation with the outside world between the indigenous.”
- Indigenous activist Mariana Maia
“When we think about what the Yawanawa do, they are the preserver of ancient wisdom, ancient technology and since we are working with technology, it was so interesting and mind-opening to see how they initially connect with each other, especially in the sense of AI.”
- Efsun Erkilic, Executive Producer of Refik Anadol Studio
To complete the launch programme, Yawanawa chiefs Nixiwaka and Isku Kua led prayers and musical performances of traditional songs together with Nixiwaka’s daughter Ykashahu and Ninunihu, granddaughter of the great medicine man Yawarani.
Ykashahu opened the concert by singing "Taupey": an ancient Yawanawá prayer thathas turned into a song by adding an instrumental melody. The words of the song are in the traditional Yawanawa language, and tell us this beautiful story:
“Taupey” is a palm tree called "Pachiubão" in Portuguese, and it has large leaves. The bird Japó, known as ‘Isku’ in the Pano language, is one of the most sacred birds for the Yawanawá people and builds its nest in this palm tree. It's the place where they sing and fly around, forming a bird community.This song talks about how they are flying above the canopy between the forest and the sky, flying in the direction of the sky. The chief of the birds, "Rua katã," goes ahead, and the females, warriors, and children follow the Japó chief. This song teaches leading with respect and being happy in the community.