Altamira 2042

Gabriela Carneiro da Cunha

The tragic tale of a dammed up river in a mesmerising installation

A dam recently constructed threatens to disrupt the balance of the whole surrounding area of the Rio Xingu in Brazil. With a mesmerising theatrical ritual, the Brazilian actress and director Gabriela Carneiro da Cunha calls attention to an impending disaster.

The tragic tale of a dammed up river in a mesmerising installation

A dam recently constructed threatens to disrupt the balance of the whole surrounding area of the Rio Xingu in Brazil. With a mesmerising theatrical ritual, the Brazilian actress and director Gabriela Carneiro da Cunha calls attention to an impending disaster.

How does the river itself ‘experience’ its fate? Carneiro da Cunha sets the stage for stories of witnesses from the surrounding area of the Rio Xingu and for sounds of the river itself. The dam, a human intervention in nature, has major consequences for the irrigation area and surrounding rainforest. It poses a threat to various riverine and indigenous groups living in the area. Thousands of people from the Altamira municipality are forced to relocate.

 

In her theatrical installation, Carneiro da Cunha lets us hear the river’s many sounds and voices, human and non-human: from the streaming water to the noise of machines building the enormous dam. Listen to the river dwellers’ stories and let yourself be swept away by a ‘techno-shamanic’ ritual to ward off the impending catastrophe.

Read less

dates

Tue June 7 8:30 PM

Wed June 8 8:30 PM

Prices

  • default € 23
  • CJP/student € 12

language & duration

  • Portuguese surtitles: English, Dutch

  • 1 hour 30 minutes (zonder pauze)

Background

‘If the river could speak, it would cry,’ one Brazilian man called João Pereira da Silva says in Altamira 2042. ‘It’s because of the dam, the third largest and worst in the world. This thing is killing the river, the water, the fish and the Brazilians living by the river. It’s killing everything.’

The elderly man appears on a screen. He is one of the many people the Brazilian actress, theatre maker and researcher Carneiro da Cunha spoke with and filmed for her performance installation Altamira 2042. The Rio Xingu, a tributary of the Amazon, runs right through Brazil’s tropical rainforest. It is a lifeline for the various indigenous and riverine groups living there.

Background

‘If the river could speak, it would cry,’ one Brazilian man called João Pereira da Silva says in Altamira 2042. ‘It’s because of the dam, the third largest and worst in the world. This thing is killing the river, the water, the fish and the Brazilians living by the river. It’s killing everything.’

The elderly man appears on a screen. He is one of the many people the Brazilian actress, theatre maker and researcher Carneiro da Cunha spoke with and filmed for her performance installation Altamira 2042. The Rio Xingu, a tributary of the Amazon, runs right through Brazil’s tropical rainforest. It is a lifeline for the various indigenous and riverine groups living there.

Humans as catastrophe

Carneiro da Cunha does research into her country’s rivers. Her project involves registering and disseminating the voices of people and sounds of elements from the area surrounding these rivers and its inhabitants, who are currently living through catastrophic times. Her project sheds new light on the idea of the Anthropocene, which a Brazilian journalist named Eliane Brum defines as ‘the moment when humans no longer fear a catastrophe but become the catastrophe themselves.’

After Guerrilla Girls in 2015, about the Araguaia river, she made Altamira 2042 in 2019, in which the Rio Xingu is at the centre. The piece will be touring major European theatre and arts festivals this season. The title refers to the city of Altamira, which is situated on the shores of the Rio Xingu. The Belo Monte hydroelectric power station, the third largest in the world, has recently been constructed near this city. The effects of this dam on flora, fauna and human beings are enormous.

Unequal distribution

Carneiro da Cunha feels the critical point has long been reached. From the Manifesto for the Amazon, centre of the world, which was written by the Altamira population for the piece: ‘We who are united in the centre of the world ask: are we all in the same boat thanks to this climate disaster? And we say: no. Most of us are in a paper boat. It’s a minority who are on a transatlantic ship. Those who caused the climate crisis will be least affected. Those who didn’t cause it will be the first to suffer its biggest impact. They’re suffering already.’

 

Manifesto

Altamira 2042 is a theatrical installation in which ecologists, artists, river dwellers and displaced people speak. Their voices are alternated with sounds from the gurgling river and the forest. All these different voices are given expression on stage by the performer (Carneiro da Cunha herself). As a kind of ‘techno-shaman’, with a storm of sounds and visuals through loudspeakers and lighting, she takes the audience on a surreal and ceremonial journey, with the destruction of the dam as the ultimate dream and goal.

From the manifesto: ‘Who are we? We are the ones who do not own the forest. We are the forest ourselves. We are the ones who are not destroying nature. We are nature. We are the ones who have many different colours and shapes and languages and sexualities and cosmologies and cultures. We are also the ones who get our power from our differences.’

Read less
  • © Eryk Rocha (Gabriela Carneiro da Cunha)

  • © Nereu Jr 2019

  • © Nereu Jr 2019

  • © Nereu Jr 2019

  • © Nereu Jr 2019

  • © Nereu Jr 2019

credits

concept Gabriela Carneiro da Cunha creation Gabriela Carneiro da Cunha direction Gabriela Carneiro da Cunha, Xingu River Cibele Forjaz, Raimunda Gomes Da Silva, Judith Martin / Ligne Directe, João Pereira Da Silva, Povos Indígenas Araweté E Juruna, Bel Juruna, Eliane Brum, Antonia Mello, Mc Rodrigo – Poeta Marginal, Mc Fernando, Thais Santi, Thais Mantovanelli, Marcelo Salazar, Lariza direction assistance João Marcelo Iglesias, Clara Mor, Jimmy Wong artistic collaboration Dinah De Oliveira, Sonia Sobral technology Bruno Carneiro, Computadores Fazem Arte multimedia design Bruno Carneiro, Rafael Frazão cover image Eryk Rocha, Gabriela Carneiro da Cunha, João Marcelo Iglesias, Clara Mor, Cibele Forjaz video editing João Marcelo Iglesias, Rafael Frazão, Gabriela Gonçalves text editing Gabriela Carneiro da Cunha, João Marcelo Iglesias sound Felipe Storino, Bruno Carneiro costumes Carla Ferraz lights Cibele Forjaz design installation Carla Ferraz, Gabriela Carneiro da Cunha production installation Carla Ferraz, Cabeção, Ciro Schou visual design Rodrigo Barja body work Paulo Mantuano, Mafalda Pequenino performance Gabriela Carneiro da Cunha, João Marcelo Iglesias, Cibele Forjaz, Clara Mor, Dinah De Oliveira, Eliane Brum, Sonia Sobral, Mafalda Pequenino, Eryk Rocha production management Gabriela Gonçalves production Corpo Rastreado, Aruac Filmes coproduction Mitsp – São Paulo International Theater Festival, FarOFFa Festival photography Nereu Jr., Clara Mor, Rafael Frazão teaser Renato Vallone, Rafael Frazão
HF in conversation with Gabriela Carneiro da Cunha

HF in conversation with Gabriela Carneiro da Cunha

How did a performance come about? Where do makers get their inspiration? What was the starting point, and what challenges did they encounter along the way? The conversations give a glimpse into the work and background of the festival artists.

-> read more