C&AL: The Brazilian anthropologist Viveiro de Castro says that indigeneity is a project for the future, not a memory of the past. How do you understand the representation of the future in your work?
EK: I think if I were to sum it up, I’d use the word “resistance”. Just like the Cerrado, they try to burn it, plow it, kill it, but the Cerrado has very deep roots. We, as indigenous people, are resistant too. Time isn’t linear, it’s circular, powered by the time of nature, water, drought, the time of the pequi flower. The construction of identity is constant. We are always resisting, in order to hold onto what we are as peoples. Maybe this doesn’t make sense to white people, because [for them] being in the world isn’t about making an effort to be what you are, and we are constantly being questioned whether we are real people. In Brazil, there are over 300 ethnic groups, over 150 languages. When you’re inside the indigenous movement, you notice this diversity. The rainforests are like that, the Cerrado is like that, diverse. There are tall plants, there are low plants, there are crooked plants, various types of flowers. And that’s what supports the diversity of life. We, indigenous people, are the past, the present and especially the future of this world. Now that they’re waking up, which, as Davi Kopenawa, the Yanomami writer, shaman and political leader, says, indigenous peoples are holding up the sky so it won’t fall on our heads. As long as there are indigenous people, pajés, and shamans, we are holding up the sky.