ANCIENT TRADITIONS, MODERN LIVES: Amazonian Indigenous Peoples in the 21st Century
Coming Late Fall 2017
Glenn Shepard Jr. is an ethnobotanist, medical anthropologist and film maker from the Tidewater area who has worked for over thirty years with different indigenous peoples of the Amazon and other tropical regions. He graduated in 1983 from Hampton Roads Academy, attended Princeton University and did his doctorate at the University of California at Berkeley. He has made several documentary films including the Emmy-Award-winning Discovery Channel production “Spirits of the Rainforest.”
His scientific research has delved into traditional medicine, shamanism, indigenous hunting practices, community-based resource management, and the impacts of economic development on indigenous societies and their environment. His writing and photography have won several awards, appearing in diverse scientific, popular and literary venues ranging from Nature, Science and American Anthropologist to National Geographic and the New York Review of Books. Since 2011 he has maintained a blog at “Notes from the Ethnoground”: http://ethnoground.blogspot.com
More recently, Shepard has built on his close work with several indigenous peoples to develop applied projects that directly benefit native communities. He has supported indigenous owned ecotourism projects, traditional craft sales for value-added markets, and training in film making and digital media for native peoples:
He has been closely involved with the non-profit “Rainforest Flow” that has installed sustainable, eco-friendly water and sanitation systems in remote indigenous communities in Manu Biosphere, Peru, including the communities where “Spirits of the Rainforest” was shot. Rainforest Flow’s work was featured in a recent National Geographic article:
Shepard will be returning to the Tidewater area at the end of November in the company of the indigenous film maker from Brazil, Krakrax Kayapo, and Nancy Santullo, former fashion photographer, and now director of the NGO Rainforest Flow. The three will be hosting an opening reception and fund raiser at Linda Gallery featuring work from indigenous photographers and filmmakers as well Shepard’s and Santullo’s own photography and indigenous art collections. The event intends to raise awareness about Amazonian indigenous peoples’ struggles to maintain their culture, ecosystems and autonomy in the modern world, and raise funds for community based projects with indigenous people in Brazil and Peru.