2011 SALSA VII Sesquiannual Conference – Belém do Pará, Brazil
The SALSA VII Sesquiannual Conference took place, from 22-26 June 2011, in Teatro Maria Sylvia Nunes, a modern, theater-style auditorium located in the Estação das Docas and at the auditorium of the Goeldi Museum. The conference was organized by Glenn Shepard (Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi), Marcela Coelho da Souza (Universidade de Brasília), and Claudia Leonor López (Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi).
The SALSA VII Sesquiannual Conference was the first to be held in South America. The city of Belém, at the mouth of the Amazon river, was chosen for this historic meeting which was sponsored by Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi (Emílio Goeldi Museum of Pará). Since it was first created in 1866, the Goeldi Museum has been dedicated to studying the exuberant biodiversity of the Amazon and the life ways and cultural history of the various peoples of the region. Ethnographic and archaeological artifacts were among the first acquisitions the museum obtained, and the museum continued to acquire important collections throughout the 20th century by major names in anthropology including Theodor Koch- Grünberg, William Farabee, Curt Nimuendajú, Protássio Frikel and Eduardo Galvão.
Being the first SALSA conference in the Amazon, this event was notable for the presence of important indigenous leaders and intelectual figures, including Davi Kopenawa Yanomami, Megaron Txukarramae and André Fernando Baniwa. For the first time, the Conference also includes a poster session in order to facilitate student participation. The event also attracted many new Brazilian members to the association. Overall, the VII SALSA meetings in Belém aimed to increase the circulation of scientific knowledge of Amazonia within Amazonia, to publicize the society’s mission and scholarship in Brazil and to promote a broader conversation about the present and future of this region that includes the multiple voices and societies that are entwined there.
The meetings opened with a reception at the Goeldi Museum’s downtown location and zoobotanical garden. A caged jaguar paced in the background as the Museum’s director and conference sponsors welcomed SALSA and inaugurated am exhibit celebrating the Goeldi’s contributions to the social sciences, accompanied by an exposition of photographs of the Yanomami, by Claudia Andujar.
In addition to a full schedule of academic papers and panels, the meetings included plenary sessions, evening round table discussions, a poster session, and book fair. A group of Kayapo men, women, and children traveled from their community to the conference, to present a dance performance Saturday afternoon.
A catered dinner was followed by music and dancing to the group Mundo Mambo.