The AP exclusively told the story of what happened when three Indigenous Brazilian sisters decided to buck the patrilineal system and refused to let their tribe die out by marrying outside of their tribe. Having their spouses live on their ancestral land protected it from deforestation, and made them members of their tribe.
Thanks to AP climate reporter Fabiano Maisonnave’s unmatched contacts in the Brazilian Amazon, a region he’s covered extensively for years, the AP secured unique access to the remote and rarely covered Juma Indigenous territory.
An all-format crew comprised of Maisonnave, Climate video editor Teresa de Miguel from Mexico City and Sao Paulo photographer André Penner first flew to Porto Velho, then then drove for hours along dirt roads, then took a two-hour boat ride to finally make it to the community. Sleeping in hammocks, the AP crew shadowed the Juma people for three days, joining them on their fishing trips, documenting their traditional way of grinding cassava flour and sharing freshly caught fish cooked on a bonfire under the starry sky.
De Miguel’s lens trained on the women encouraged them to discuss how they were treated as they became the first female chiefs in their region of the Amazon, with Maisonnave interpreting Portuguese.
Penner’s images offered an intimate look at how the tribe lives and what these women’s efforts mean to their existence while drone images gave a sense of place.
The story was picked up by the Washington Post, Independent, CNN, and Hearst took it for the Houston Chronicle and the SF Chronicle. It’s already been posted on Environmental Health News, which is selective and has a wide, influential readership.
For this beautifully captured exclusive enterprise, Maisonnave, de Miguel and Penner are highly deserving of this week’s Best of the Week — Second Winner.