Ailton Krenak's Ideas to Postpone the End of the World


Ailton Krenak's Ideas to Postpone the End of the World

reading group black history month
SA 05.03.2022 13:30

To stop environmental disaster, Krenak argues that we must reject the homogenizing effect of this perspective and embrace a new form of “dreaming” that allows us to regain our place within nature. In Ideas to Postpone the End of the World, he shows us the way. Indigenous peoples have faced the end of the world before.

Facilitated by Carolina Maciel de França

Ailton Alves Lacerda Krenak (Vale do Rio Doce, Minas Gerais, 1954) is a Brazilian writer, journalist, philosopher and indigenous movement leader of Krenak ethnicity. Born Ailton Alves Lacerda Krenak, he was forcibly separated from his people, of which only 130 individuals are left (down from 5,000 at the beginning of the 20th century), at age 9. When he was 17, he and his family migrated to the state of Paraná, where he was alphabetised and became a printing specialist and journalist. Krenak functioned as a representative of indigenous peoples at the debates on the 1988 Brazilian Constitution, where he covered himself in ritual face painting during a speech. He either co-founded or participated in several indigenous rights organizations, such as the União dos Povos Indígenas (Union of Indigenous Peoples), the Aliança dos Povos da Floresta (Alliance of Jungle-dwelling Peoples), the Núcleo de Cultura Indígena (Nucleus of Indigenous Culture), among others. In 2000, he appeared on TV Escola's documentary film Índios no Brasil (Indigenous Peoples in Brazil). From 2003 to 2010, Krenak was special aide for indigenous affairs to the governor of Minas Gerais. In 2016, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Federal University of Juiz de Fora, where he teaches about culture, history and traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples.

Carolina Maciel de França (°1986) is an author, consultant and maker. She was born in Recife (Brazil) and lived in the Netherlands for a long time before moving to Antwerp in 2005. She graduated as a literary translator, but during and after her studies mainly worked as an intercultural activist, cultural project leader and moderator. She went through the bicultural leadership programme LinC Lage Landen in 2018 and started her own artistic practice. Carolina has been a member of De Samenstelling since 2020 and also made her debut that year with a short story in the literary anthology AFROLIT, edited by Ebissé Rouw and Dalilla Hermans.