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Pea Nuñez on Uyra

“SHE uses her body to call for a transformation in our relationship with the natural world.”

EMERSON UÝRA is a “two-spirit, non-binary, indigenous” performer, visual artist, biologist, and human rights activist working to save the Amazonian ecosystem. Growing up in Para, Brazil, Uýra developed a close spiritual connection to the natural world. Through their alternate persona, Uýra Sodoma, they create performance works that blur the proscribed (but imaginary) line between humans and their environment. Our storyteller notes, “They have performed in the river amongst the garbage, which brings attention to nature as well as what we are doing to nature.” Whether performing in the streets of Manaus, Brazil, or in a gallery, Uýra challenges audiences to disrupt the corporate and colonial narrative that humans must dominate nature. Their acclaimed film, The Rising Forest, won many awards at numerous regional film festivals when it was released in 2022.

Storyteller

Pea Nuñez

Currently based in the ancestral and current lands of the Tongva/Gabrielino people, Pea Nuñez is a cameraperson exploring culture, nature, and social movements with a focus on the BIPOC and queer communities. Born and raised in Peru, Pea arrived in the United States at age 15. In 2017, Pea earned a bachelors in arts in Film from the University of California, Los Angeles with an emphasis on cinematography. Their documentary and fiction films have garnered an audience and recognition through film festivals, broadcast television, and social media outlets.

Featured Woman

Uyra

Uýra Sodoma (they/she) was born Emerson Pontes in 1991 and was raised in a village located in the Brazilian state of Para, site of Amazonia National Park. As a child, they were surrounded by clean forests and clear water, which seeded a deep spiritual connection to the natural world. They attended college, earning a bachelor’s degree in biology, and a master’s degree in ecology. As a performance artist, Uýra has integrated scientific principles of ecological processes into performances that call attention to the need for a paradigm shift in the way that we see ourselves in relationship to our environment. Uýra has performed in the Galeria de Artes Visuais do Largo São Sebastião, the Instituto Tomie Ohtake in São Paulo, and the São Paulo Biennial, and on the streets of Brazilian cities, among other places. Their documentary, The Rising Forest, was honored with many awards at film festivals throughout the world. They live in Manaus, Brazil.