ON EXHIBITION: October - February at Centro Cultural Inca Garcilaso, Lima. This exhibit shares the Matsés way of life as it is today, offering a glimpse into this remarkably strong culture.
Melanie Dizon
October 26, 2021

Xapiri Ground are proud to partner with Centro Cultural Inca Garcilaso in presenting an inaugural exhibition in Lima on behalf of the Matsés people, in collaboration with Acaté Amazon Conservation.

The Matsés inhabit 3 million acres of Amazon rainforest, where approximately 3,000 Matsés steward the land and shield some of the last remaining uncontacted peoples in the world along the Peru/Brazil border. Peaceful contact between the Matsés and the outside arrived in 1969 after years of hostile confrontations; and to this day, the Matsés continue to proudly protect their territory and cultural heritage.

Through photography and objects; and by highlighting tradition with the contemporary, this exhibit shares the Matsés way of life as it is today, offering a glimpse into this remarkably strong culture. During our visits to Matsés territory, we have been privileged to witness the timeless connection between human and nature, a people whose life is intrinsically woven into the Amazon rainforest. We have joined our companions in the jungles and navigated their rivers, following their subsistence activities and cultural processes. We feel honored to share these insights on their behalf.

At the very heart of the Peruvian Amazon, persists an ongoing threat from extractive industries and most noticeably a newly activated road project which would rapidly change the course of this rainforest and peoples’ way of life. This exhibit comes at a critical time symbolizing an important moment in the global discourse of Indigenous culture and Amazonian conservation. Our hope is that it will help unite the Matsés with the public at large, creating the necessary connections to help safeguard this land, while fortifying Matsés culture, art and identity for future generations.

Installation: Melanie Dizon

Installation: Melanie Dizon

Installation: Melanie Dizon


Tui Anandi and Mike van Kruchten for their impactful field photography. 

Melanie Dizon for show curation and art installations. 

William Park, Christopher Herndon and David Fleck of Acaté Amazon Conservation. 

Gredna Landolt for supporting our vision and work.

And the Matsés community with whom we share relations.

Cover photograph: Mike van Kruchten

Soundscape: Anthony Paucarmayta