Mykonos, GREECE, 20 July 2023 – The first-of-its-kind artwork series co-created by Refik Anadol and the Yawanawá, entitled Winds of Yawanawá, premiered at Scorpios Mykonos on 13 July 2023. The artwork series was commissioned by impact investment initiative Impact One and is a significant co-creation and cross-industry collaboration that maps a new model dedicated to the establishment of more holistic and equitable pathways to environmental sustainability.
"It brings a moment of innovation. A light within a darkness that we have endured since the time of [first] contact; where we could not see a way to walk together with Western man. Refik brings an artform with this advanced technology that is this artificial intelligence, inviting us to also present our own art. Our art that comes from our ancestors, from our cosmology, our cosmovision, from our culture, and that can be refined in this journey out into the world."
- Yawanawá Chief Nixiwaka Yawanawa
“We need collective wisdom. And if you think about collective wisdom, you will need ancestral wisdom. At some level, it’s more educational and inspiring - hearing the Yawanawá’s voices
and how we are evolving and bringing their perspective to the dialogue is the
most fundamental part of the project.”
- New media artist Refik Anadol
"At the peak of the digital age, this work reconnects to our natural heritage, sourcing its form and language from the Amazon rainforest, while sourcing funds for the Yawanawá and their stewardship of the rainforest, to give back. That makes this collaboration truly nature-positive in its entirety."
- Mikolaj Sekutowicz, CEO of Impact One
To accompany and explain the historic moment that is the creation of Winds of Yawanawá, CEO of Impact One Mikolaj Sekutowicz hosted a panel discussion entitled Possible Futures, Web3 and Indigenous-led Pathways for Global Sustainability. The conversation discussed how respect for traditional practices and governance systems are essential in localised sustainability efforts and have significant global impacts. Emphasising the importance of situated ecological knowledge, the panel explored the necessity of cross-industry and cross-disciplinary collaboration, utilising emergent technologies toward capacity building in indigenous communities and how Web3 can be used as an additional driver of global stewardship of natural ecosystems.
Panellists included Founder and CEO of Cogni, Archie Ravishankar; Co-Founder of Meta4 Capital, Nabyl Charania; Scorpios founder Thomas Heyne; Chairwoman of the Board of Impact One, Roksana Ciurysek-Gedir; entrepreneur Richard Caring; Executive Producer of Refik Anadol Studio, Efsun Erkilic; Yawanawá Chief Nixiwaka Yawanawá; Indigenous activist Mariana Maia; visionary young Yawanawá Leader Isku Kua Yawanawá; and new media artist Refik Anadol.
“I am a part of the new generation that has witnessed the new technologies arriving within our territories. We understood the need to adapt to these new instruments that you bring in order to adapt to this new reality. I don't need to fight with my bow and arrows anymore. I only need to speak the same language as you. Who would have thought that indigenous people from the middle of the forest living in such a traditional way would today be launching an artwork with this artificial intelligence and all the technology it involves. It doesn't make me and my people less Yawanawá or less indigenous. When I return back home I will be walking barefoot on the ground. I will continue to play in the river with my children and lighting my fire under the starry sky. But when I want to speak to you or to my brothers, I will take my phone and speak to whoever I want and continue protecting my forests in the same way. But now speaking the same language as you.”
- Yawanawá Chief Isku Kua
“Today, I am witnessing a first dialogue of our civilisation. Because here I stand, not just as a Yawanawá Indigenous man from the Amazon, but I speak for nature itself. We are not the lungs of the world.
We are the heart of the world.”
- Yawanawá Chief Nixiwaka Yawanawá
“This movement where [the Yawanawá] are now living is the time of culture and the time of spirituality, where they are able to share with the world, and be empowered. And this is very much through these alliances. So the people, the Yawanawá people, are people that have always been open to alliances. They have, even in their stories, prophecies about this. So it's also due to these alliances that they are living in the abundance they are living today and that we are able to be spearheading such innovation with the outside world between the indigenous.”
- Indigenous activist Mariana Maia
“When we think about what the Yawanawá do, they are the preserver of ancient wisdom, ancient technology and since we are working with technology, it was so interesting and mind-opening to see
how they initially connect with each other, especially in the sense of AI.”
- Efsun Erkilic, Executive Producer of Refik Anadol Studio
To complete the launch programme, Yawanawá chiefs Nixiwaka and Isku Kua led prayers and musical performances of traditional songs together with Nixiwaka’s daughters Ninunihu and Ykashahu and Indigenous activist Mariana Maia.
The event also marked the opening of the Winds of Yawanawa NFT collection sale, after having sold out in the pre-sale. The NFT Data Paintings of Winds of Yawanawa were dropped as the Genesis collection of the newly created Yawanawa & Refik Anadol ledger, and minted with a special smart contract created to highlight the co-authorship of the community and to transparently show the NFT sales proceeds distribution. Proceeds of the sale go directly towards the realisation of key development projects for the Yawanawá communities of Aldeia Sagrada and Nova Esperança, as well as for the collective Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon.
Sales of the artwork are deployed by Yawanawá Chiefs Nixiwaka, Putanny and Isku Kua for the
- Building of sustainable infrastructure in the village of Aldeia Sagrada
- Hosting of Indigenous Conference in Aldeia Sagrada in October 2024
- Development of the Isku Vakehu school curriculum for Nova Esperança
“This partnership that we are building with Refik is directly for our communities. It strengthens our village, it strengthens our culture, it strengthens our spirituality, it gives us strength to defend, to protect our forest. And also shows us that we are not alone. That we have allies around the world. This empowers us. This project can serve as a model and an example for many indigenous peoples and for big companies,
big artists, big actors, big celebrities of the world.”
- Yawanawá Chief Nixiwaka Yawanawá
The sale of the Winds of Yawanawá NFT collection is set to open again at the end of August, end of September and mid-October 2023. Each sale will offer limited batches and be available on scorpioscollect.