A Casa da Maria (Maria’s House); and OIKOVYTERI ITEKO'A MÔĪNGUEVYA (Decolonization continues)

Maria Thereza Alves

Biennale of Sydney

Biennale of Sydney
Sydney, Australia

“Throughout Brazil, monuments celebrate colonialism and genocide. I want to celebrate the courage of Maria, and so thought it important to preserve her house – not as monument but as testimony. OIKOVYTERI ITEKO’A MÔĪNGUEVYA (Decolonization continues) is the first Guarani newspaper and is made by members of the Juaguapiru Reservation in Mato Grosso do Sul, considered the most violent state against Indigenous people in Brazil.”

A newspaper written in Guarani and English is set amongst a striking display of European art dating from the 18th to 19th centuries. The paper highlights the oppression and racial violence currently faced by Indigenous people from the Juaguapiru Reservation in Brazil. Alongside this, Casa da Maria (Maria’s House) is a testimonial to the late Maria Gansha, whom Alves met in her father’s village in 1983.

Maria proudly spoke of her Indigenous identity in an environment – persisting today – in which many fear to speak at all due to deeply entrenched racism. In 2017, Maria’s daughter gave Alves her house. Within the gallery space, a sculptural delineation of the outline of this house allows the space to be partially transmitted, to hold space within a new context, and to tell Maria’s story. Alves’ installation was created in collaboration with the Guarani community in support of keeping First Nations languages – and her own ancestry – alive and visible.


  • Title: A Casa da Maria (Maria’s House); and OIKOVYTERI ITEKO'A MÔĪNGUEVYA (Decolonization continues)
  • Creator: Maria Thereza Alves
  • Date Created: 2020
  • Location Created: Art Gallery of New South Wales
  • Physical Dimensions: dimensions variable
  • Provenance: Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney with generous support from Open Society Foundations, and generous assistance from Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen. Courtesy the artist, Instituto Guarani-Nhandewá de Estudios da Historia do Brasil and Casa da Maria. Editors: Ke´y Rusú Katupyry and Verá Poty Resakã.
  • Type: installation
  • Rights: Biennale of Sydney
  • Medium: mixed media installation; newspaper made by members of the Jaguapiru Reservation in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil
  • Edition: 22nd Biennale of Sydney (2020): NIRIN

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