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Article Publication logo November 19, 2021

Documentary: The Pandemic and Fake News in the Upper Xingu (Portuguese)

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This project will focus on how the spread of fake news among Indigenous people has increased the...

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This story excerpt was translated from Portuguese. For more on this report, watch the full video on YouTube. You can also see the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website here. Our website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.


This documentary examines the dynamics and impacts of the circulation of fake news related to the Covid-19 pandemic among indigenous people of the Upper Xingu. The misinformation, often produced by the Bolsonaro government itself, minimized the seriousness of the virus, causing the indigenous people to remove the sanitary barriers erected to avoid contamination and encouraged them to go to the city, which ended up bringing the virus into their territory. In this video, Kuikuro indigenous people tell us about the particularities they lived through during this period and how they understand this real epidemic of misinformation. The documentary also shows the importance of resuming the Quarup funeral ritual in 2021, in a context of intense and painful losses, which could not be performed the year before, precisely because of the pandemic. The recordings were made by the indigenous filmmaker Takumã Kuikuro, who co-directed the film. The rest of the team worked on the direction, script, and research from a distance, thus avoiding the spread of the new coronavirus.


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Read these special reports, written in Portuguese, on fake news and Covid-19 in Alto Xingu:

Pandemic among indigenous people is catalyzed by flood of fake news

Fake news impacts indigenous people's decision to take the vaccine
A project by Le Monde Diplomatique Brazil, produced with support from the Rainforest Journalism Fund in partnership with the Pulitzer Center

Warning: Partial nudity in video