The tropical forest of the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, in Brazil, has been transformed into an enormous field used for transgenic plantations and cattle ranches. In this process, the Guarani-Kaiwoá Indians and the Terena Indians were stripped of their land by the big landowners and were confined to protected areas. In response, the indigenous populations began to occupy the lands they considered theirs and build makeshift camps. This led to violent clashes with the landlords. Yann Gross captures the recovery of these territories from the point of view of the first Guarani rap band, Brô MC’s. The series is called Tekoha (“land” in Guarani) and it is part of The Jungle Book, a visual experience that aims to reconstruct different realities of the Amazon region. The Swiss photographer’s objective is to document how the culture of the Amazon is influenced by today’s society and economy, and his book goes well beyond the romantic clichés about this exploited land based on images of enchanted territories and savage warriors, as he questions the dominant ideals of progress and development with deforestation as the main underlying issue.
Yann Gross was born in 1981 in Vevey, Switzerland. He is a photographer, filmmaker, and designer who graduated from École Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne. Gross has received numerous awards for his work, including the PHotoEspaña Discoveries Award (2008), Photography Award at the International Festival of Fashion and Photography, Hyères, France (2010) and Luma Rencontres Dummy Book Award for The Jungle Book (2015). Gross is a member of the international artist collective Piece of Cake and the cofounder of Canal GuaTeKa, an internet channel created for indigenous youth living in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil.The main subjects of his work are questions of identity and escapism, interrogating how humanity lives within the world. He currently resides in Switzerland and the Amazon rainforest. His work is exhibited worldwide and published in magazines like Aperture, Colors, Frieze, The National Geographic, The New York Times Magazine, The Sunday Times Magazine, Die Zeit Magazine & Das Magazin among many others.
Place: Old Port of Algorta