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Discover the nivaklé and guaraní artists from the paraguayan Gran Chaco

Less known to the public eye than its neighbor the Amazon, the Paraguayan Gran Chaco forest has the highest deforestation rate in the world. Every day more than 1.000 hectares of dry forest are cut down for meat production. The indigenous communities who call it their home now live within close proximity of the small towns that have sprung up there. Men from these indigenous communities are generally employed as agricultural workers by large landowners.

These communities are home to outstanding artists, discovered by the anthropologists Verena and Ursula Regehr, who supported and promoted them with local exhibitions. Their drawings and sculptures bear witness to the deep bond they developedwith their rapidly disappearing environment, including plants and animals.

Even if their survival and culture are threatened, be it by the growing number of farms taking over the region, the increased cultivation of soy crops or, today, the Covid-19 pandemic, these artists keep on drawing. Their works denounce the destruction of their environment and take us on a fascinating journey through the emblematic landscapes of the Gran Chaco.

Since 2014, the Fondation Cartier has presented their works in several occasions.

In 2019, at the occasion of the exhibition Trees, Fredi Casco and Fernando Allen made the documentary Como pez en el monte [Like a fish in the forest] shedding a light on the work of these artists. Read more about their artistic work in the Trees catalogue: Living with Trees: Drawings from the Gran Chaco.

In october 2019, the artists Efacio Àlvarez et Clemente Juliuz travel for the first time in Europe, along with the photographer Fernando Allen and the anthropologist and curator Ursula Regehr. During a week of exceptional encounters, they share with us the richness of their culture, and bearing witness to the irreversible transformations of their environment. The movie DOS [Two] by Fernando Allen documents the trip from Paraguay to Paris.

Today, they face Covid-19 pandemic depriving them of their daily job, deteriorating even more their living conditions and intensify police control and repression. Discover a photographic journey led by Fernando Allen and Fredi Casco on the daily life of these artists.