The exhibition opening for ‘Chamada From Chico Mendes’ will talk using live video with Maria Benevides on Eco-Brazil, Chico Mendes, Forests and Water on Saturday 28th February 2015 at Global Grooves Arts Centre (MAP). This will bring some of the realities that people in Brazil are currently facing direct to the audience at the event, where the audience will be able to ask questions chaired by the poet Sai Murray who has worked for some years on issues of climate justice and is the MC for the event.
Chico Mendes, Forests and Water – the context for a digital art work
‘Chamada From Chico Mendes’ is a digital art work by Kooj Chuhan made up of art and documentary video, imagery, poetry and sound from across the world – full details at www.metaceptive.net/chamada . Visitors encounter a range of objects which they can play like instruments, which then spark off visuals, music and words from guest artists, film-makers and environmental activists. Kooj describes it as an “exhibition within an installation” because of the wide range of material that the audience can view and interact with.
Its starting point is the powerful story of Chico Mendes, who was a Brazilian rubber tapper, trade union leader and environmentalist committed to protecting the Amazon’s ecosystem. He had opposition from industrialists and corrupt government officials, was jailed, fined and threatened, and just over 25 years ago he was eventually murdered but has now become a national hero in Brazil. “Chamada” means a ‘call to all’ in Portuguese, and the exhibition is about other voices contributing their parallel experience to that of Chico Mendes.
During the evening event, which includes live performance, guided tour, poetry and food, Maria will talk to us live from Brazil and will discuss:
– What are the important issues for climate change in Brazil?
– How is Chico Mendes is understood in Brazil?
– What influence did he have?
– Which other people are doing that kind of work now?
– What are the difficulties right now for people doing this kind of work?
– How serious are the water shortages and what are the future issues that they raise?
If you can’t make it to the event, maybe because you are too far away, the event will be webcast live at 7.30pm GMT (UK time). You will be able to watch it on ANY device that can play a YouTube video, and you will be able to type in any comments or questions live during the event. The web address for the webcast is: http://crossingfootprints.com/chamada/live-webcast/ or directly from this YouTube page https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRjDjx-TjE0 .
About Maria Benevides:
Maria Benevides is a Brazilian journalist working for NGOs, research institutions and think thanks on media relations and content production related to environmental issues. She has previously worked as a producer for the BBC World Service and the BBC Media Action in London. She also acted as a UNHCR spokesperson in Angola, UNDP’s press officer in Brazil, IRIN’s editor in South Africa and Head of Communications for the British Embassy in Brazil. Her continuing interests are in green economy, sustainable development, the Amazon forest and the people living there.
Videos about Chico Mendes and Wangari Maathai now online:
There is a great video about Chico Mendes as told by his close collaborator Marcos Afonso now online:
http://crossingfootprints.com/chamada/chico-mendes/ . This is accompanied by an excellent article ‘Martyr of the Amazon: The legacy of Chico Mendes’ by Kate Evans / CIFOR, well worth the read. “At first I thought I was fighting to save the rubber trees; then I thought I was fighting to save the Amazon rainforest. Now I realise I am fighting for humanity,” Mendes famously said.
Also now online is a trailer for the film ‘Taking Root’ about Wangari Maathai, the activist who went on to become the first environmentalist and also the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize (2004): watch it at http://crossingfootprints.com/chamada/register-to-attend/#taking-root .
The Forest Code Observatory
http://www.observatorioflorestal.org.br – Forest Code Observatory: This is a network of NGOs and institutions that joined to monitor the implementation of the new Brazilian Forest Code and Quartzo (Maria Benevides’ own company) has created and has been managing the contents of the website and social media since it was founded, two and a half years ago. Maria’s talk will touch on the work of this network.
Guest artists, film-makers and activists
This exhibition and project involves a range of contributions from across the globe. They include Sarawut Chutiwongpeti (Thailand), Badrul Alam and Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Heiko Thiele and Zwischenzeit e.V. (Germany), Marcella Haddad (Brazil), Shaikh Mohir Uddin & Rural Visual Journalism Network at Drik (Bangladesh), Fuyumi Labre Lopez (Uruguay/Spain), Milda Lembertaite / Amelia Prazak (Lithuania/Switzerland), Victor Steffensen and the Living Knowledge Place (Australia), Nigel Hulett (Zimbabwe), Ali Pretty and Kinetika (UK), Marian Osman (Somalia) with ‘Democracy Now!’ (USA), Maya Chowdhry (UK), Julia Davenport (UK), Jose Ignacio Lopez Ramirez-Gaston (Peru/Spain). Selected media from these contributors will be watchable on extra screens in the exhibition. Percussion loops produced by 17 young musicians from the Future Leaders carnival arts training programme by Global Grooves. READ MORE ABOUT THE GUEST ARTISTS