This year, the seventh annual festival returns online, with on-demand film screenings and virtual events from February 17 to March 4, 2022. 

“Archival Legacies of the Yanomamö Series: Preservation, Digital Restoration, and Return” is happening live on Wednesday, February 23 at 11:30 am ET via Facebook, YouTube, and Eventive.

About the panel:  

This two-part roundtable considers the complicated legacies of the Yanomamö Film Series (1969–1976), a groundbreaking ethnographic media project that expanded the boundaries of documentary. Distributed by Documentary Educational Resources (DER) and archived in the Smithsonian’s National Anthropological Archive, the series emerged from a collaboration between anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon (1938–2019), filmmaker Tim Asch (1932–1994), and Yanomamö communities in southern Venezuela and northern Brazil. 

The collaboration resulted in 110,000 feet of film and 21 film—but this work was not without controversy as Chagnon’s mischaracterizations of theYanomamö as the “Fierce People” has had ongoing impacts on communities, and scholars have called into question his ethics. 

The first roundtable is focused on the technical and aesthetic issues underlying the processes of preservation and digital restoration. The second panel explores the value of these films for the Yanomamö and anthropologists interested in more equitable collaborations. Acknowledging the painful legacies of anthropology, these roundtables will provoke discussions about the value of historical works and the potential for redress and corrected narratives. 

 Part 1: Preservation & Digital Restoration – Panelists 

    • Joshua Bell (Introduction—Recovering Voices, NMNH) 
    • Alice Apley (Moderating—Documentary Educational Resources) 
    • Elías Mendoza Vivas (Documentary Educational Resources) 
    • Frank Aveni (Documentary Educational Resources) 
    • Nic Brynolfson (Documentary Educational Resources) 
    • Pam Wintle (Emeritus, National Anthropological Archives) 

Part 2: Return – Panelists 

    • Joshua Bell (Introduction, Recovering Voices, NMNH) 
    • Alice Apley (Moderating, Documentary Educational Resources) 
    • Javier Carrera Rubio (University of Mayland, College Park and Research Associate, NMNH) 
    • Hortensia Caballero (Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Cientificas) 
    • David Good (University of Guelph and The Good Project) 

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