Have You Ever Seen a River Stop?
The films will be available to watch on our on-demand platform from 10am on Monday 12th July.
A series of short films that consider the problems with Brazil's attempts to modernise and the impact that has had on its population.
From the deadly failures of a dam to the construction of a highway as a tool for genocide, the programme explores the failures of modernising infrastructures, past, present and future, in Brazil through the eyes of contemporary video art. The films attempt to sink-in with the flowing of rivers as a source of life, embodiment, ecosystems and the role of water within communities. As poet Daniel Munduruku recently wrote, ‘Have you ever seen the river stop when it runs into some difficulty?’
For Kapoora and Equilibrio - click on the 'CC' icon on the player to select the subtitle track (English or Portuguese - Brazil). A Gente Rio and A Android are subtitled in English.
YWY, a androide [YWY, the Android], Pedro Neves Marques (7min), 2017.
Set in a present-future, YWY, an android impersonated by the Indigenous activist Zahy Guajajara, talks with a GMO corn crop in the agricultural interior of Brazil. In a moment of intimacy, the woman, whom we come to understand is a field worker, and the plants talk about bodily rights, infertility, labor and monocrops. As a human, the spectator is unable to hear the voice of corn, perceiving the dialogue as a weird monologue. The film’s script is inspired by the writing of Brazilian author João Guimarães Rosa, in which dialogues are often expressed through the voice of a single person rather than two or more
A Gente Rio [The People River], Carolina Caycedo (29 min), 2016.
A Gente Rio / We River considers the connections between sites of extractive and industrial infrastructure and environmental disasters in Brazil. The film focuses on four sites: the Itaipu Dam, the second-largest hydroelectric plant in the world, where the process of land expropriation became the catalyst for the emergence of the Landless Workers’ Movement (MST); the Belo Monte Dam on the Xingu River, where environmental licensing has been marked by a series of irregularities and profound indigenous resistance; the Bento Rodrigues Dam, which collapsed, releasing hazardous waste from the mining company Samarco and caused an unprecedented environmental disaster in Brazil; and, lastly, the Vale do Ribeira, where indigenous, caiçara and quilombola communities have been resisting against the construction of a dam. The artist highlights the accumulated knowledge of the communities, presenting a collective body resisting the extinction imposed by development-oriented projects.
A warning from the spirit of the forest to the intelligence of western civilisation, Equilíbrio is the second of two films by Tupinamba filmmaker, journalist and educator Olinda Muniz Wenderley with Kaapora as a protagonist. It tells of the destructive force of humanity from the perspective of an indigenous entity, Kaaproa, which is also the name of Muniz's life work: an environmental recovery centre for the protection of the ancestral land and spirituality in the Indigenous territory of the Caramuru Paraguaçu in Brazil (kaapora.eco.br). Equilíbrio follows on from Kaapora O Chamado das Matas, an etnomedia project filmed at the centre exploring through an experimental narrative the connection of the Indigenous People with the Earth and their Spirituality.
Kaapora, O Chamado das Matas (The Call of the Forest), Olinda Muniz Wanderley Tupinambà (Yawar),(20 min), 2020.
An experimental narrative film about Kaapora, a forest-dwelling spirit, protector of the land, and trickster. By developing an environmental recovery project on the land of the Pataxó Hã-hã-hãe, the director explores her people's connection with Earth and spirituality.