Opening of the New-Look “Serra da Capivara” Exhibition at the Museu do Amanhã

(05.12.18) Following visits to Berlin, Bonn and Maceió, the photographic exhibition “The Brazilian World Heritage Site of Serra da Capivara – The Oldest Traces of Settlement in America?” has now arrived in Rio de Janeiro, with its opening on 10 November in the “Museu do Amanhã” (Museum of Tomorrow). Revealing a new look designed specially for the occasion, the exhibition organised by the DFG will now be open to visitors for a period of three months in perhaps the most famous city in Brazil. Attracting an average of over 1 million visitors each year, the Museu do Amanhã is currently the most visited museum in the country and the third most popular tourist attraction in Rio de Janeiro.

Sergio Brandão, Uwe Weibrecht, Peter Prestel, Klaus Zillikens e Margarete Coelho

© Guilherme Leporace/Museu do Amanhã

The exhibition presents scientific research and the fascinating biodiversity and local culture in Serra da Capivara, captured through the lens of photo journalist André Pessoa. Specialising in nature and science, for over 25 years he has been taking photographs in the National Park, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site by virtue of its archaeological sites and impressive rock paintings. Current studies are giving rise to the hypothesis that these signs of life from thousands of years ago are the oldest traces of settlement on the American continent.

“Our aim in presenting this exhibition is to show the beauty of Serra da Capivara and the significance of the scientific works examining the history of settlement on the American continent. We also want to create greater visibility for Brazilian and international research, in particular for collaborative works between researchers from Brazil and Germany,” explained Dr. Kathrin Winkler, Head of the DFG Office Latin America, at the opening event.

The opening of the exhibition was part of a special programme organised by the Museu do Amanhã to mark the International Science Centre and Museum Day. The event took place immediately after the presentation of the VerCiência prize, awarded for outstanding achievements in science communication using television, internet and other audiovisual media.

Among this year’s winners was the German documentary film “Sensational find in Brazil. The Oldest Americans”, part of the “Terra X” series by the German television station ZDF, featuring the photo archive for the exhibition and the latest archaeological discoveries in Serra da Capivara, among other aspects. The deputy governor of the state of Piauí, Margarete Coelho, and the German Consul General in Rio de Janeiro, Klaus Zillikens, presented the award to director and screenwriter Peter Prestel and to Uwe Weibrecht for his support with the production.

The full documentary was screened at the event, providing the audience of some 150 people with insights into a DFG-funded project examining the start of settlement and food production in the semi-arid North-East of Brazil based on the example of Serra da Capivara. The project was conducted by researchers from the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) in cooperation with the FUMDHAM Foundation, which carries out archaeological research and was represented at the event by Prof. Dr. Márcia Chame.

In addition to photographer André Pessoa and prizewinner Uwe Weibrecht, Chame recounted her experiences as a researcher at the Foundation and announced the opening of the natural history museum (Museu da Natureza) on 19 December. Located in the middle of the National Park, the cultural complex offers extensive insights into our planet's natural history - from the origins of life to the present day. The new museum will focus on themes such as the Caatinga biome, as well as interactions between climate and humans.

Visitor information

Exhibition “Serra da Capivara: os mais antigos vestígios da povoação na América?”

Duration: 10 November 2018 to 10 February 2019

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10 am to 6 pm (last admission 5 pm)

Location: Museu do Amanhã, Rio de Janeiro