The Chapada Diamantinha is a huge expanse of highland in the North East of Brasil, stretching over an area about the size of the UK. It’s home to Abelha Cachaça, where we grow our cane on the highland sandy soils.
Image from daniel.weinbaum
Due to the heat and dry climate, there are always bushfires, but last year’s were greater in extent than ever before. Between September and November, more than 75.000 hectares of the Chapada Diamantina National Park (over 50% of the region) had burnt to dust, along with rare species of plants and local wildlife. Only 10% of the park remained totally unscathed.
Image from eduzappia
Forest Heroes, by photographer Eduardo Zappia and curated by Braziliality, presents some shocking but also aesthetically beautiful images of this ecological disaster. With the park in flames, the photographer joined the fire brigade volunteers of the region and took his camera along. The result was an amazing work that shows the reality of people who risk their lives for nature.
Image from eduzappia
Also showing is a Brazilian documentary about the fires, from a production company in the centre of the Chapada.
The Fireline in Chapada Diamantina (Linha de fogo na Chapada Diamantina)
Documentary from Produtora Montanhas Filmes, Brazil
The Fireline on Chapada Diamantina (Linha de fogo na Chapada Diamantina) is a documentary that shows one of the most beautiful Brazilian geographical paradises in Bahia, North East Brasil. During dry season the Chapada’s precious ecosystem, suffers the destruction from fire, sometimes destroying over a third of the area. Montanhas Film Production, based in Lençois in the heart of the Chapada, closely documented speaking to key people, workers and the government about it. This project aimed to collect and investigate the various opinions, as well as about the fight against the fire.
There are speculations about the origin of the fire, as mine workers in protest or by farmers could have started it. The Chapada da Diamantina has volunteers fighting to stop the fire, although they have not much support for their basic needs. From the government only 6 officers are responsible to take care of the whole park, which is not enough to supervise the area. Passionate about the cause, Montanha Filmes dedicated two months of independent production to the cause, creating this unique documentary, which mixes art and social consciousness in capturing this tragic event.
Forest Heroes, Photography by Eduardo Zappia
The Fireline in Chapada Diamantina, Documentary by Montanhas Filmes
From 9th July – 9th August 2009 at At 16mm Deli Café & Screening Room (0207 287 8892)
19 D’Arblay Street, W1F 8ED
Braziliality is a ongoing exhibition showcasing both Brazilian and Brazil-inspired art, based at the 16mm Cafe, London.
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