Naine Terena

My grandmother was lassoed
Installation - 2022
Naine Terena

Some narratives have become so naturalised in Brazil that we hardly notice the racial and gender violence they carry. "My grandmother was lassoed" is one of those phrases that are reproduced in everyday life without any recognition of the historical aggression experienced by Indigenous people in the past and in the present. For the person who uses the phrase, 'lassoed' implies that they have Indigenous ancestry coming from an Indigenous grandmother who was trapped by colonists and forced into non-consensual sexual relations that produced children with Indigenous ancestry. In this context, the work deals with the subjectivity and the objectivity of this issue by using satin ribbons (which are called "laços" in Portuguese, the same word for "lasso") in colours designated as feminine (in Brazil) and combining them with the entangled mesh of metal: together these elements surround and enclose the Indigenous body, evoking the saying that gives the work its name. To complete the composition, there is a soundtrack featuring an excerpt of a session held in the Brazilian House of Representatives in June 2021 to vote on Bill 490, which proposes new rules for the demarcation of Indigenous lands. The audio adds the nuances of dialogues held between congresspeople, in particular the way Joênia Wapixana, the only Indigenous congresswoman (and the second Indigenous congressperson in the history of Brazil), is questioned during the session. My grandmother was lassoed gives a sense of the structural racism and gender violence naturalised in the terms, popular sayings and attitudes rooted in the national imagination, which end up reinforcing hostility to indigenous peoples.


Curatorial text: Naine Terena
Filming: Téo de Miranda
Image editing: Naine Terena
Audio editing: Naine Terena
Installation of the exhibit: Etane de Jesus, Naine Terena
Acknowledgments: Cine Teatro Cuiabá, for the loan of the space for the installation of the work.