Brazil is one of the largest mineral producers of the world, and the historical importance to the country’s economy is undeniable. Mining operations provide 25% of the world’s iron, used to produce our cars, technology and other commodities of modern life. Since 2015 I have been dedicating to independently investigate, document, research and visit mining communities all over Brazil.
Since then I have catalogued more than 100 tailing dams and open pit mining sites. I also gather social, economic and environmental data about the regions and about mining in general.
Please consider helping this project to keep growing and raising awareness on better mining practices in Brazil and over the world! 20% of the sales will go to Brazilian mining communities and to community activities to foster better mining practices.
A tailing dam is a huge, engineered structure that holds mining waste, mixed with huge volumes of water. In November 2015, just 70 miles away from Júlia’s hometown, the collapse of a mining tailings dam caused the largest socio-environmental disaster in Brazil’s history. Small towns were overwhelmed by more than 10.5 billion gallons of sludge in one of the country’s most important watersheds. In January 2019, another catastrophic mining dam collapsed in Minas Gerais, costing the lives of hundreds. The two tragedies exposed the immanent risk thousands of Brazilians live with, often unknowingly. The full extent of the human and environmental devastation caused by these accidents, and by open pit mines more generally, are only now becoming widely recognized, having been obscured by the region’s inaccessible mountainous terrain as well as the opaque regulatory environment.
Our Land My Landscape has been recognized by Harvard University's Planetary Health Alliance and published by Bloomberg Businessweek. With this project Júlia has been chosen Emerging Immigrant Artist Program with Social Practice by the New York Foundation for the Arts, and granted an Allan Sekula Social Documentary grant by the California Institute of the Arts.
Our deepest gratitude to Movimento pela Soberania Popular na Mineração, Ana Cortat, Joana Cardozo, Wirasandi Ruslan, Virgilio Guimarães Pereira, Túlio Mourão, Titane, Franciane Curi, André Chuí, Shari Diamond, Adriana Letorney, Jane Yeomans, Pedro David, Fred Ritchin and New York Foundation for the Arts.
This project and exhibition was made possible with the support of Renee Harbers, Marisa Martins, Visura, Planetary Health Alliance, International Center of Photography and Alchemy Investment Partners.