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The Guarani and Kaiowá Virtual Museum is being designed and curated by the Kuñangue Aty Guasu in collaboration with UCL MAL. The museum will be an online space through which the community can preserve, curate, and display their own material and immaterial cultural heritage. This collaborative heritage project is an opportunity for the Guarani & Kaiowá communities to continue digitalising their cultural heritage and build their online identity as well as raising global awareness of the issues facing indigenous communities in Brazil today. It will focus on the relations between indigenous knowledge, practices, and the community’s environment.

museum origins

The museum is part of an ongoing collaboration between the Guarani and Kaiowá communities and UCL MAL following the Guarani & Kaiowá indigenous women’s council meeting which was able to be held online for the first time with MAL’s logistical help. The Virtual Museum is a continuation of this collaborative digitalisation process, whereby the community decide how and what they want to showcase online, and MAL help enable this vision.

Fundamentally, the museum seeks to address concerns raised by the Guarani & Kaiowá regarding access to heritage management and enable the community to share their stories on their own terms. It also reinforces the importance of equal access to digital resources for indigenous communities worldwide and addresses global challenges by harnessing remote methods of heritage curation to disseminate indigenous knowledge and empower the voices of indigenous communities globally.

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Newly developed virtual reality technologies provide exciting opportunities to envision new ways of producing visual media and managing heritage projects. Such an immersive visual and acoustic experience has the potential to change museums forever, and using this media in a collaborative, community-led way allows the Guarani and Kaiowá to share their cultural heritage in a way that is truly representative of their values as they decide what images become part of the museum.

The objects in the museum will include....

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Houses/ Environment

Cultural Artefacts

Musical Instruments 

The museum's aims

The museum will be a collaborative online space where the Guarani & Kaiowá women can present their cultural heritage on their terms. This project will provide the community with a locally managed digital heritage collection that can be added to the future and maintains the truly collaborative relationship between the Guarani & Kaiowá communities and UCL researchers.

The partnership that is developed through this project will have both a local and global impact, developing a virtual digital platform that will contribute towards increased connectivity between the Guarani and Kaiowá women of Mato Grosso do Sul and an international community. It impacts Guarani and Kaiowá communities by creating a digital infrastructure through which they can preserve, curate, and display their own material and immaterial cultural heritage. Given the comparable accessibility of online spaces, we hope that the Virtual Museum will have an international reach, exemplifying a method of museum curation that is community-led and locally managed, contributing to a more nuanced global approach to the collection, preservation, and display of indigenous heritage. The museum is also a platform from which we can raise global awareness and understanding of indigenous communities in Brazil, especially given the current political hostility and crises exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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