Marilene Ribeiro

Pará, Brazil, 2016 [Three of us talking, Delcilene, her mother, Maria das Graças, and me, Marilene] Delcilene – “Our island, our sand beaches, our trees, our home [pause] all has gone. Belo Monte dam has brought nothing to us but death.” Maria das Graças – “Because the islands, the trees, they all died, everything is dead. It looks like a backwood in the backlands [sertão]. Right? The ones where you only see stumps, which we see on the news [on] Sunday. It’s the same thing. (…) When you look around, it’s just sadness. (…) Even so, that’s it: sometimes you [myself, Marilene] can say, ‘Ah, no, it’s because many were angry with Norte Energia [the company in charge of the Belo Monte dam project] and then kept saying that no one liked it and such.’ It is good to go there to look, to see and say, ‘See, [Maria Das Graças] wasn´t lying, look at the impact that the Norte Energia caused.’ (…) According to them [Norte Energia] everything has improved here in our region after the dam, it’s all beautiful. [pause] Our story, the story which we tell, is not the same as [theirs]. (…)” Delcilene’s feelings: sorrow and humiliation Maria das Graças’ feeling: sorrow Object chosen by Delcilene: cashews Object chosen by Maria das Graças (Delcilene’s mother): sand Location chosen: their former backyard in Cashew Island (currently partly submerged by the Belo Monte dam)

November’s featured photographer is Marilene Ribeiro

Marilene Ribeiro is a Brazilian visual artist and researcher whose practice is focused on identity and contemporary issues, bringing together photography, intervention, and collaboration. Ribeiro’s project are engaged in the political agency of photography and in the role of image-based media (namely photography and moving image) in society. Her work is rooted on the environment and Human Rights agendas, foregrounding visions from the Global South towards decolonial approaches.

She holds PhD in Creative Arts/Photography awarded by the University for the Creative Arts/UCA (UK) and is currently a RKE Visiting Research Fellow at the School of Media and Film of the University of Winchester (UK).

Articles about Ribeiro’s work have been published in magazines and on websites specialised in the field of Photography like LensCulture, Photoworks, The Royal Photographic Society Journal, Viens Voir, RPS Contemporary Photography, Katalog – Journal of Photography & Video, Resumo Fotográfico, as well as in other publications in the USA, Spain, France, Brazil and in the UK.

Awards: PHotoEspaña Descubrimientos – 2020 (Spain, awardee); Encontros da Imagem Photography and Visual Arts Festival Photobook Award – 2020 (Portugal, shortlisted); Arles Luma Rencontres Dummy Book Award – 2019 (France, shortlisted); Biennial of Fine Art & Documentary Photography Grant  – 2018 (UK, shortlisted); Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award – 2017 (UK, shortlisted); The Royal Photographic Society Award – 2014 (UK, awardee); International Art Residence Prize Lab-MIS by the Museum of Image and Sound/MIS (Brazil) and Can Xalant (Spain) – 2012 (awardee); ESSO Journalism Prize – 2010 (Brazil, awardee).She is collaborator of the Fast Forward: Women in Photography (collective of female photographers designed to promote and engage with women in Photography across the globe), and also collaborator and photo editor of the Latin America Bureau-LAB (UK-based charity engaged in communicating struggles and decolonizing views towards Latin America). Co-founder member of ‘Agnitio – Change through Photography’ (collective project that strengthens communities through photography skills in Brazil), and also member of the Biotrópicos Institute (Brazilian NGO that promotes biodiversity conservation and reflect on the relationship between human beings and nature through science and art practices).

Dead Water

Dead Water is a project about a place of access, connexion, flux. Despite using material processes, the focus is not on physicality. It is about the transit between the river (the material site) and the other river (the site of life, of wealth, of beauty, of belonging, of identity, of memory, of democracy, of the transcendental). Rivers that join within the space of this work: the territory of the encounter, the space where exchanges between subject and photographer happen.

Dead Water tells the story of dams and hydropower from the perspectives of the people who have been affected by these ventures in Brazil stitched together with my own background as a trained photographer, ecologist, and individual. I use Brazil, my home country, as a window to discuss a contemporary issue that has, in fact, involved many countries and that tackles the climate change agenda. Dead Water engages with the nature and magnitude of the intangible costs of dams and hydropower, as a counterpoint to the widespread notion of hydropower as a “sustainable and green” energy source that promotes development and fights global warming.

***I would like to acknowledge the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development – CNPq, the Royal Photographic Society, and the Brazilian Movement of People Affected by Dams – MAB for their support.

Pará, Brazil, 2016 “I see my portrait in the river… I belong there. Regarding the object you asked me to choose, I wish I could take the facade of my house… my place is under the waters of Belo Monte dam now.”
Pará, Brazil, 2016 Maria Helena has followed in her father’s footsteps: her family had hosted the festivities of the St. Joseph Day for about one century. Every 19th of March inhabitants gathered in her family’s island for boat procession, baptism, and wedding services, and also to pray, sing, and dance. Maria Helena recalls that her family provided home-made “fireworks” and a feast to guests. Locals also decorated the boats and the site with handcrafts. When the Belo Monte dam project started, dwellers who inhabited local islands (like Maria Helena’s family) had to move and, as Maria Helena states, this tradition faded. Maria Helena comments she wished her granddaughter, Larissa, could carry on with this tradition as she herself has done since her father passed away. Maria Helena’s and Maria Dalva’s feeling: sorrow Object chosen by Maria Helena: statue of St. Joseph Object chosen by Maria Dalva (Maria Helena’s daughter): one of the dead leaves (and also her wedding dress – she got married on Pivela’s Island) Object chosen by Larissa (Maria Helena’s grandaughter): local soilLocation: dead plantation of açaí (acai berry) at their former backyard on Pivela’s Island (currently partially submerged by the reservoir of the Belo Monte dam)
Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, 2016 Marilene – “I would like you to choose a thing to represent your pain, Liane, and also a place for your portrait.” Liane – “It has to be close to the Uruguay River. Because you can recover your house, do it up again, but the river…you won’t ever get back. So it has to be somewhere close to the river. The way it is now, you won’t get it back.” Marilene – “What do you mean, ‘the way it is now’?” Liane – “If they build the [Panambi] dam, the Uruguay River is finished. I can’t even imagine what it’ll look like, with all the trees gone and all… now there are so many, it’s so beautiful. But when they build the [Panambi] dam …if they build it…we won’t even want to go there anymore. (…) Here there are rapids, we can go and bathe in the river, but we won’t be able to anymore, because they’re going to clear all the vegetation. For us, it won’t ever be the same. And who knows where they’re going to put us, where we’re going to live! Who knows if we’ll still be able to come to the river and see what it’s like! Perhaps we will, but it’ll be with sadness, because our little corner of the world will have been abandoned, flooded, and all because of the dams.”
Pará, Brazil, 2016 “What’s it like today, the island where we used to live? The one with all the trees, the rubber trees? It’s deserted. They [employees of Norte Energia, the company in charge of the Belo Monte dam project] chopped down the trees and buried everything. What they didn’t bury, they burnt. When I pass in the boat, I see it. It’s just a desert.”
Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, 2016 Claudinei – “We wonder how this area will look like [after the building of the Panambi dam], because it will be no longer a clear water, running free, like the water you see on these pictures I showed you – crystal clear, one can spot the rocks at the bottom, even children can play in this water, at the shallow parts of the river. It’s a pretty beautiful site.”Marilene – “Do you think this might be gone [if the Panambi dam is built]?”Claudinei – “Take it for sure. This will be erased from the map! (…) We will see a green, viscous liquid instead. Imagine how sad people here will be about this. The types of fish we currently find here, they will all vanish. (…) This river we currently see: forget about it! Bathing or going fishing: no more.”(…) Marilene – “What do you not want to forget, if the Panambi dam happens to take place?”Claudinei – “Me? The [Uruguay] River.”Claudinei’s feelings: sorrow and lossObject: fishLocation: his workspace
Bahia, Brazil, 2015 João Evangelista’s overwhelming feeling regarding the move from Alto do Melão village due to Sobradinho dam works was that of “longing”. He said he missed the fertile soil that provided everything he and his family needed to eat throughout the year. He chooses as his objects cassava and sweet potato, to represent all the vegetables they used to grow at the riverside. He also chooses to be portrayed at his current house whose some parts came from his previous home in Alto do Melão. Alto do Melão village, along with many others, was submerged by the Sobradinho dam in 1978. During the photo shoot, João Evangelista proposes different positions in which to present himself and the formerly mentioned blessed food provided by that “land”.
Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, 2016 “I’m concerned about the future of my sons. About their memories in future times. About the memories they won’t be able to have, because, when the Garabi dam works take place they won’t be entitled to follow in our footsteps, they won’t be entitled to live in this place, where we have lived, anymore.”Marinês Nicolli’s feeling: sorrow “Object”: her sons Location: her bedroom/living room
[When Gumercino was coming up with ideas for his photo shoot]
Gumercino – “Those who will look at my photograph will wonder, ‘what the hell are this water tank and this solar panel for, in this photograph?’. Then I will reply, ‘This is because I was afflicted by a hydropower plant and haven’t gotten either water or energy!’.” © Gumercino da Silva Anjos and Marilene Ribeiro 2015

To see more of Marilene’s works visit her website, here

La fotógrafa del mes de Noviembre es Marilene Ribeiro

Marilene Ribeiro es una artista visual e investigadora brasileña cuya práctica se centra en la identidad y los problemas contemporáneos, uniendo fotografía, intervención y colaboración. La práctica de Ribeiro está involucrada en la agencia política de la fotografía y en el papel de los medios basados ​​en la imagen (a saber, la fotografía y la imagen en movimiento) en la sociedad. Su trabajo tiene sus raíces en las agendas del medio ambiente y los derechos humanos, poniendo en primer plano visiones del Sur Global hacia enfoques descoloniales.

Tiene doctorado en Artes Creativas / Fotografía otorgado por la University for the Creative Arts / UCA (Reino Unido) y actualmente es investigadora visitante RKE en la School of media and Film de la University of Winchester (Reino Unido).

Artículos sobre el trabajo de Ribeiro han sido publicados en revistas y sitios web especializados en el campo de la fotografía como LensCulture, Photoworks, The Royal Photographic Society Journal, Viens Voir, RPS Contemporary Photography, Katalog – Journal of Photography & Video, Resumo Fotográfico, así como en otras publicaciones en EE.UU., España, Francia, Brasil y Reino Unido.

Premios: PHotoEspaña Descubrimientos – 2020 (España, premiada); EI Photobook Award del Festival Encontros da Imagem de Fotografía y Artes Visuales – 2020 (Portugal, finalista ao premio); Arles Luma Rencontres Dummy Book Award – 2019 (Francia, finalista al premio); Beca de la Bienal de Bellas Artes y Fotografía Documental – 2018 (Reino Unido, finalista al premio); Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award – 2017 (Reino Unido, finalista al premio); Royal Photographic Society Award – 2014 (Reino Unido, galardonado); Premio Residencia Internacional de Arte LABMIS por el Museo de Imagen y Sonido / MIS (Brasil) y Can Xalant (España) – 2012 (premiada); Premio ESSO de Periodismo – 2010 (Brasil, premiada). Es colaboradora de Fast Forward: Women in Photography (colectivo de fotógrafas diseñado para promover e interactuar con las mujeres en la fotografía en todo el mundo), y también colaboradora y editora de fotografías de Latin America Bureau-LAB (organización benéfica con sede en el Reino Unido comprometida en comunicar luchas y descolonizar visiones hacia América Latina). Miembro cofundador de Agnitio – Change through Photography (proyecto colectivo que fortalece comunidades a través de la fotografía en Brasil), y también miembro del Instituto Biotrópicos (ONG brasileña que promueve la conservación de la biodiversidad y reflexiona sobre la relación entre el ser humano y la naturaleza a través de prácticas científicas y artísticas).

Agua Muerta

Agua muerta es un proyecto acerca de un lugar de acceso, de conexión, de cambio. Pese a utilizar procesos materiales, el foco no se centra en lo físico; se trata del tránsito entre el río (el emplazamiento material) y el otro río (el oasis de vida, de riqueza, de belleza, de pertenencia, de identidad, de memoria, de democracia, de lo trascendental). Ríos que confluyen en el espacio de esta obra: territorio de encuentro, el espacio en el que se producen las interacciones entre el modelo y la fotógrafa. Agua muerta cuenta la historia de las presas y la energía hidroeléctrica desde la perspectiva de las personas que se han visto afectadas por esos proyectos en Brasil, unida a mi propia trayectoria y mi formación como fotógrafa, ecologista y persona. Utilizo Brasil, mi país de origen, como una ventana para analizar un problema contemporáneo que, de hecho, ha afectado a muchos países y que entronca con la agenda de cambio climático. Agua muerta se ocupa de la naturaleza y la magnitud del coste intangible de las presas y la hidro-electricidad, como contrapunto a la concepción generalizada de la hidroeléctrica como una fuente de energía « sostenible y ecológica » que promueve el desarrollo y combate el calentamiento global.

***Me gustaría dar las gracias por su apoyo al Consejo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico y Tecnológico (CNPq) de Brasil, a la Royal Photographic Society, y al Movimiento de los Afectados por las Represas (MAB) de Brasil

Para ver más de los trabajos de Marilene visita su web, aquí