For the Yawanawá community in the Amazon, “medicines” have the power to bring visions that take you to places you’ve never visited in the physical world. This virtual reality experience takes you into their world, a remote place that nonetheless plays a key role in the global ecosystem. Our guide is Hushahu, the first female shaman of the Yawanawá. We join her on the path she took to open her mind, supported by her predecessor Tata, the community’s spiritual leader who broke with an ancient cultural taboo.
The Australian artist Lynette Wallworth made Awavena at the invitation of the Yawanawá, and in close collaboration with them. We see scenes of their traditional way of life and environment mixed with dreamlike abstract landscapes and snippets of forest life in fluorescent colors. Together, they form a portrait of a community that was on the verge of extinction, and a shining vision of another, better world.