At the Activism against extractive industries and performance activism conference, held by Latin America is Moving Collective in February, 2021, Sue Branford answers the million-dollar question, ‘Is sustainable mining possible?’, by contrasting two bauxite mines she visited in the Brazilian Amazon back in Jan/Feb 2020 alongside Brazilian journalist, Thaís Borges.
One of these mines was set up during Brazil’s repressive military dictatorship in the 1970s, and the other in the early 2000s when Brazil had returned to democratic government and left-of-centre governments were in power at the federal, state and municipal levels.
Sue’s talk addresses the impact of large-scale mining on local communities of ribeirinhos – families whose livelihoods depend on fishing, hunting, small-scale agriculture and collecting forest products – and asks whether the change in political climate in Brazil has made it easier for the ribeirinho communities to get their rights respected.
The talk was chaired by Paula Serafini (CAMEo Research Institute, University of Leicester), author of the book Performance Action: the Politics of Art Activism.
About the series:
As a way to explore Latin American social movements before and after the pandemic, the Latin America is Moving Collective launched a new online seminar series. Each of the three seminars brought together ‘flash talks’ from experts and break-out discussion sessions with the audience. Attendees were engaged to think about the difficult questions raised by research, on one hand, and activists and collectives’ demands, on the other. For LAB, this initiative is a continuation of our Voices of Latin America work.