Sub Rosa’s recent launch of our Applied Empathy series has inspired us to develop the public programming in our And&And studio space even further. On May 11, we opened our doors to another public event geared towards learning from others and fostering empathy.
In partnership with our friends at Tribal Link, we were pleased to present Chief Tashka Yawanawa in a very rare New York City appearance. Chief Tashka, who leads the Yawanawa tribe in the Brazilian Amazon, spoke about his experiences navigating indigenous and contemporary cultures as the first invited speaker in our new discussion series, titled Indigenous Voices.
The evening, first in a series designed to share the stories and cultures of the world’s Indigenous Peoples, was hosted by Sub Rosa’s Founder/CEO and Tribal Link Board Member Michael Ventura along with Pamela Kraft, Executive Director of Tribal Link; and David Hircock, Natural Resource Advisor to the Estée Lauder Companies.
Michael began the evening with an introduction to Tribal Link, a foundation that “matches the urgent needs of the world’s indigenous populations with the people and resources which can help them.” Tribal Link initially came to know Chief Tashka and the Yawanawa people in 2007, when it began working with the Chief to provide him with speaking opportunities and global visibility. Because Yawanawa land is so valuable, the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil are often a target of threats from outside parties interested in its territories. The international recognition that Chief Yawanawa has received as a result of his collaboration with Tribal Link has allowed him to call attention to the plight of his people and ensured his personal safety from those who might seek to silence him.
Chief Tashka provided the audience with a rare chance to hear a traditional song from the Yawanawa people and then delved into the struggles his people are facing–climate change, navigating the Brazilian political system and preserving traditional practices while incorporating modern touches. He lamented the emergence of recreational ayahuasca and external pressures that seek to force his people to bend to the conventions of others. Chief Tashka concluded his talk with a call to action, stating that regardless of whether you live on an island in the Amazon or on the island of Manhattan, you are all connected across time and space and should bear that responsibility accordingly.