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September 27, 2010

Laura Anderson Barbata worked with the Yanomami people of the Venezuelan Amazon Rainforest, teaching them to make paper and books so they could write their own history. Their first bookShapono tells the story of the gods Omawe and Yoawe who taught the Yanomami how to build their home as a communal dwelling. Contact with outsiders has brought with it industrialized materials and solutions integrated by the Yanomami into their building techniques, homes and lifestyle, posing new challenges and problems for traditional tight-knit communities. Barbata will also discuss her project, Moko Jumbies, which has engaged at-risk youth in Trinidad and Tobago in the practice of an ancient tradition in community-driven cultural activities to support a strong sense of identity.

Laura Anderson Barbata is a professor at the Escuela Nacional de Escultura, Pintura y Grabado La Esmeralda of the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, México

Take the MBTA red line to the Kendall/MIT stop. Follow Main Street west to Ames Street, turn left, and walk one block. Ames Street has limited on-street parking. Visitors may park in MIT campus lots after 5PM. (The Hayward Lot is on Hayward Street, off of Amherst Street.)