20.04.2021-20.05.2021, Berlin. Artistic intervention on billboards at U1 Kottbusser Tor subway station (Kreuzberg - Berlin)

SÜDSTELLIUM is a project conceived by Matheus Rocha Pitta, Ana Hupe and Barbara Marcel, which proposes transmissions and collaborations with artists based in Brazil. As a fruit of these dialogues, three images will occupy billboards of the U1 subway at the Kottbusser Tor station in Berlin between 20.04 and 10.05.2021.

In a dialogue with Vândria Borari, Barbara Marcel wonders how it is possible to imagine the sky of Alter do Chão from the city of Berlin.

What if to see the fallen skies of the Amazon one had to look at the soil, look at the clay and ceramics found on the shores of the Tapajós River? On a visit to the Berlin Ethnographic Museum in 2019, at the invitation of Barbara Marcel, the also artist, lawyer and indigenous activist Vândria Borari had for the first time contact with the collection of pre-Columbian art located in Berlin. Amidst the museum's large collection of South Amerindian pieces, Vândria encountered Tapajonic vases, amulets and ceramic fragments, material culture of her ancestors. The collage resulting from the dialogues between the two brings together one of the vases from Berlin's collection; drawings by German-Brazilian ethnologist Curt Niemuendajú of one of the oldest cave paintings in the Amazon, located at the archeological site of Monte Alegre, Pará; and a photograph by Barbara Marcel of vultures sunbathing on Carauarí beach in Alter do Chão. According to Tapajonic cosmology, vultures are animals capable of connecting the immanent world with the transcendental realm. Regarded as funerary agents in some cultures around the world, they continue to be important interspecies caretakers in the ecological balance of the Amazon biomes, as well as sacred animals for the Borari indigenous people. In the Tapajonic ceramic vase acquired by the Berlin Museum in 1932 by the museum's former director, art historian Erich Wiese, we see female figures of caryatid women supporting the base of the vase and vultures on top of the piece. The collaborative project between Vândria Borari and Barbara Marcel is part of a long-term project on Tapajonic ceramics in European museums and a film to come.


2020, Ciné-Cipó – Cine-Liana: ATTO – Amazon Tall Tower Observatory Multichannel video installation, aprox. 140 min.

The artistic project Ciné-Cipó / Cine Liana at ATTO Tower (2020) shows in a video installation the production and exchange of different types of knowledge – scientific knowledge from the international scientific community as well as traditional knowledge of the people living in the Amazon rainforest. The largest tower in Latin America, the Amazon Tall Tower (ATTO), aims to study the interactions between the forest, soils and atmosphere of the region in order to understand the role of the Amazon basin for the Earth system. The tower is part of an international cooperation between Brazil and Germany, built and financed by INPA - Amazon Research Institute and Max-Planck Institute. For the project, the tower was temporarily occupied and transformed into a community radio under the command of Natalina Oliveira and Milena Raquel Tupinambá. Produced in collaboration with the ZKM - Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Karlsruhe for the exhibition "Critical Zones - Observatories for Earthly Politics", curated by Bruno Latour, Peter Weibel, Martin Guinar and Bettina Korintenberg, the project's proposal was to create a meeting between two popular radio communicators from Pará and research scientists from ATTO.

How is the scientific knowledge produced at ATTO democratized? How does this knowledge impact and dialogue with indigenous quilombolas and riverside communities? Making data accessible to the global scientific community is as challenging as communicating it to more people. The artist therefore proposes a collaboration between scientists and local radio communicators of Resex Tapajós-Arapiuns river. The scientific results and traditional knowledge are set in relation, forming an alliance for the defense of the Amazonian biodiversity. Atmospheric and earthly data are translated into popular communication via a radio show with spots, interviews and songs, what means a gesture of empowering of the local communities as the information gets distributed in an accessible way. During the process, scientific evidence and ancestral knowledges sometimes intersect, occasionally disconnect, while the scientific community listens and also learns more about the struggles in defence of the territories and local livelihoods of the Amazonian populations, demystifying universalizing assumptions. The dialogue between scientists and local inhabitants gets going in a transmission and acknowledgment of other than scientific forms of knowledge, addressing a core question of the actual debates around the environmental crisis we are living: How is the public debate about the socioenvironmental crisis conducted? Who speaks from which point and where do the different discourses enter into dialogue?

The 4-Channel installation is on display between Sat, 23.05.2020 - Sun, 09.01.2022 at the ZKM in Karlsruhe. A partial online version at the Critical Zones exhibition site can be accessed through the following direct link:!/detail:cine-cipo-cine-liana-atto-amazon-tall-tower-observatory

Technical Specifications

Produced in collaboration with the ZKM | Karlsruhe

Barbara Marcel with Natalina do Carmo Oliveira, Milena Raquel Tupinambá

Presenting Natalina do Carmo Oliveira, Milena Raquel Tupinambá; Direction and Production: Barbara Marcel; Image: Felipe Frozza, Barbara Marcel; Direct Sound: Anne Santos; Set Production: Kandyê Medina, Thais Helena Medeiros, Bruna Bichara; Editing: Célia Freitas, edt.; Editing Assistance: Beatriz Krieger, Felipe Frozza; Sound Mixing: Sarah Lelièvre; Colorist: Guilherme Begué; Finishing Editor: Beatriz Krieger; Music: Suraras do Tapajós

Funded by: Instituto Serrapilheira, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry Jena
Supported by: INPA-National Institute of Amazonian Research, Goethe-Institut São Paulo, Casa Bicho
The ATTO project is funded by: German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations, Max Planck Society, Finep, Fapeam, and Fundação Eliseu Alves.


2019-21, Chile. Video, color, sound, approx. 90min.

Following the work of environmentalists and communicators involved in social movements in the city of Concepción, the video portrays the role of women in the uprising that took to the streets of Santiago and all the cities of Chile between October and December 2019. HUMO SOBRE LOS HUMEDALES takes as a starting point the defense of local wetland ecosystems called Humedales – interconnected hydrological systems with a transitional morphology between land and water –, and shows how environmental struggles are indissociated from social mobilizations for basic rights such as access to clean water. The video depicts transmissions by a local Community Radio and the Latin American Ecofeminist debates during the Carpa de las Mujeres in Santiago, a meeting parallel to the Climate Conference 25 in Madrid 2019. Narrated with the artist's voice off in the tone of a travel diary, the film contrasts the individual gaze and the many voices of the crowd clamoring for a new national constitution.

The video was produced in Laguna Grande de San Pedro, Concepción and Santiago de Chile between November 18 and December 17, 2019. The project is the result of the Artistic Residence ARTIVISM, initiated by the Goethe Institute Chile and Galeria Metropolitana in Santiago. Supported by Kummer-Vanotti Stiftung.

Film credits

Radio Humedales:
Paloma Bello
Carla Duran
Alejandra Fuentes
Pierina Pondanelli
Paula Sepulveda
Katherina Venegas
Jo Varela - activist at the Red Humedales Bio Bio and furniture maker
Luisa Valenzuela – La Guardiana, Red Humedales Bio Bio
Eve Soto - Red Humedales Bio Bio
Marcha Internacional por el Día de la No Violencia contra la Mujer en Concepción, 25.11.2019

Production, Camera, Editing
Barbara Marcel

Audio Excerpts
Radio Humedales
Podcast Cacerola Informativa #DespertamosdelSchock
Episodes: 30.10 / 03.12 / 06.12.2019

“Contra Todo”, iLe (Almadura, 2019)
“Las Golondrinas”, Evelyn Cornejo (La Chusma Inconsciente, 2017)
“Octubre 19”, Indomitamorfosis (2019)

Supported by Goethe Chile, Galeria Metropolitana, Kummer-Vanotti Stiftung.


2018-19, Berlin / Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Harz. Original essay in collaboration with Andreas Döpke and 4-channel video installation, colour, full HD format, approx. 120 min.

The project GOLDEN TONE is derived from Barbara Marcel's research into the historic and cultural landscape of Harz, the western mountain region of Germany, where many of the mining technologies of mineral soil extraction were first developed and later exported across the world. The video installation reflects on the intersections of the past, present and future of this anthropogenic landscape through the particular history of the breeding, training and trading of canary birds in the region. In a video assemblage featuring hands and machines, silver and serinettes, contaminated heavy metal hills and falling spruce trees, touristic tours and intimate interviews, the iconic landscape of the German Harz gradually reveals its many hybrid layers, giving way to an open field of transformative sonic flights.

GOLDEN TONE is a film about the Harz Roller canary birds, the domestication of mines and the queering of nature.

Click here for more info on the book THESE BIRDS OF TEMPTATION


2015-19, 2-Channel Video Installation HD-Video, Sound, 13min + 43min

The work MANIOC I GRIND YOU, SISTER gathers images and interviews with local Amazon women activists and herbalists, filmed by Barbara Marcel and Ana Hupe in Santarém, Alter do Chão and in the community of Anã between 2013 and 2017 (Alto Tapajós River, Amazon region, Brazil). In the second, more experimental channel, guided by a sound piece made by the musician Thelmo Cristovam, fragments of the first film ever shot in the Amazonian forest, No Paiz das Amazonas (Silvino Santos and Agesislau de Araújo, Manaus, Brazil 1922), are merged with images of present-day soy monocultures and local politicians discussing town planning. The surviving ancestral indigenous process of manufacturing manioc flour is also juxtaposed with an old recording of Macushi indigenous people singing a women’s labour song recorded by the German naturalist Theodor Koch-Grünberg between 1911 and 1913, during a trip to the Brazilian and Venezuelan Amazon. Mixing the sound material contained in the Köch-Grünberg wax rolls with contemporary images demonstrating the survival of indigenous technology in the production of manioc flour in caboclo communities in the Amazon region, the artists experiment with the possibilities of productive shocks between past and present, and challenge viewers to listen to the Phonographic Archive of Berlin-Dahlem Museum in a decolonial way.

Film Credits

Luciene Santos | Activist and Herbalist at GECEM- Casa de Chico Mendes, PA-BR Izilda Godinho aka Piquixita | Herbalist from the Community of Anã, in the Extractive Reserve of Tapajós-Arapiuns, PA-BR Claudete Munduruku | Defender of the Munduruku indigenous rights and teacher at Aldeia Sauré, Itaituba, PA-BR

Images: Barbara Marcel and Ana Hupe

Editing: Barbara Marcel

ContraNatura (2015) by Thelmo Cristovam
Walzenaufnahmen aus Brasilien (1911-1913). Berliner Phonogramm-Archiv Series Historische Klangdokumente – 3. Arbeitsgesänge - Gesang Beim Maniokreiben, Gruppe Makuschí

Additional Images
No Paiz das Amazonas (In the land of the Amazon, Manaus, 1922), a film by Agesilau De Araujo and Silvino Santos.
Der Edison-Phonograph, by UnterbergerMedien, 2014. Auftraggeber: Helbling Verlagsgesellschaft mbH Produzent: M&P Unterberger KG.
National Museum: the neglect of history, Tv Brasil. September 2018.

Ass. of Finalization: Alice Dalgalarrondo

Transcripts and subtitles: Paulina Hupe

Most of the footage was shot during a residency of artist Barbara Marcel at Casa Bicho, Alter do Chão in December 2017.

© 2021 Barbara Marcel