Estamos na Luta - PhMuseum

Estamos na Luta

Tommaso Rada

2017 - 2020

The Portuguese colonisation and the Atlantic Slave Trade are the historical reasons at the bases of the presence of black African people in Brazil. From the XVI century, African black people — mostly from the Western African region — where captured and deported to Brazil to work as slaves in the plantations and the mines.

Despite the law that abolished slavery is dated 1888, today, with more than 50% of the population that is Afro Brazilian, Brazil is a racist country. It is said that the country suffer a structural racism, a kind of discrimination perpetuated by the state as well as by the population that don’t allow Afro Brazilian to access to position/institution which have always been “occupied” by the elite and a constant verbal discrimination through denigration of Afro Brazilian.

The Quilombos are Brazilian settlement founded by people of African origin; most of the founders of these communities were escaped slaves. Especially with President Lula da Silva, the rights of the Quilombolas (ownership of the lands and right of been recognised as communities) were finally recognised. They represent the living witness of the existing of Slavery in Brazil.

In the last 20 years, the Brazilian Governments tried to fight the racism introducing racial quotas for the Universities and protecting and valorize the Afro Brazilian Culture. The Government recently elected inverted the direction, in fact it is ready to be voted a law that eliminates the racial quotas, there is a plan to reduce the amount of land occupied by Quilombolas and the President did racist claims against Afro Brazilian: during his campaign, Mr Bolsonaro claims “I have visited a Qui- lombo. The slimmer Afro-descent weighted 7 arrobas” (around 15 kg, the arroba was a unit of weight used during the sla- very period). “They do nothing. I think they aren’t good even for procreation. the Brazil waste more than 1 billion of Reais with them”.

There is an expression said by the Quilombolas all around Brazil: Estamos na luta, we are in the fight. This said is not only a declaration of fight for their rights and for the injustices their communities are currently living, it is a way to remember they are carrying on the fight for freedom started by their slave ancestors.

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  • Cananeia, Brasil. Quilombo do Mandira. The wife of the youngest son of Chico Mandira takes a break in front of the tv inside her house.

  • Belo Vale. Brazil. An object used to torture slaves is seen in the Slavery Museum of Belo Vale. The Slavery Museum is one of the few institution in Brazil that shows the slavery past of the Country.

  • Januaria, Minas Gerais. Caio is trying to fix the water pump in the Saint Francisco River. The Quilombo of Croatá doesn’t have tap water. Despite they requested the installation of the pipes to the City Hall, the construction work are not carried out and also no water truck is sent to the community which have to use the River waters. After the collapse of the mine in Brumadinho the waters of the Saint Francisco River are considered highly polluted.

  • Ilha de Maré, Bahia. A family have lunch under a tree in the main square of the Quilombo. The Quilombo's communities of Ilha da Maré are deeply affect by the pollution caused by petrochemical factories located in the area.

  • Januaria, Minas Gerais. Mr Ernesto walks inside his biological mandioca fields. Some years ago part of the land of the Quilombo was sold by a landowner to an other despite according to the Quilombo’s Community the land is own by the state.

  • Belo Vale. Brazil. An object used to torture slaves is seen in the Slavery Museum of Belo Vale. The Slavery Museum is one of the few institution in Brazil that shows the slavery past of the Country.

  • Barcarena, Brazil. A Quilombo’s Community member sat in front of his house. In the last years an Aluminium Extraction Factory polluted the territory where several Quilombos communities are located. The Quilombo’s communities members exposed the pollution and now are receiving death threats.

  • Santa Rosa dos Pretos, Maranhão, Brazil. A girl of the Quilombo ride her bike in the internal street of Santa Rosa dos Pretos. The BR 135 road cut in the middle the Quilombo, in the past several people and animals got killed crossing the high traffic street. Now the company that run the road is planning to increase the size of it, this would cause the eviction from their houses of 300 families belonging to the Quilombo.

  • Santa Rosa do Pretos, Maranhão, Brazil. Josiclea “Zica” Pires throws a rock agains the mining company train that cross the lands of the Quilombo. The construction of the rail dried a water channel used for fishing and irrigation by the people of the Quilombo. Today the community doesn’t fish and farm any more.

  • Belo Vale. Brazil. An object used to torture slaves is seen in the Slavery Museum of Belo Vale. The Slavery Museum is one of the few institution in Brazil that shows the slavery past of the Country.

  • Ilha da Maré, Bahia. A group of fisherwomen during a meeting of the Community. The leaders of the Quilombo of Ilha de Maré are mainly women and are the ones that fish and catch seafood. Because of the high petrochemical pollution their still of life has been deeply affected. The Quilombolas claim they are discriminated by environmental racism.

  • Cananeia, Brasil. Quilombo do Mandira. Young boys belonging to the families of the Quilombo take care of the spring waters channels that arrive to the community.

  • Cananeia, Brasil. Quilombo do Mandira. The youngest son of Chico Mandira, the chief of the Quilombo, retrieves some oyster from the oyster farm.

  • Belo Vale. Brazil. An object used to torture slaves is seen in the Slavery Museum of Belo Vale. The Slavery Museum is one of the few institution in Brazil that shows the slavery past of the Country.

  • Santa Rosa do Pretos, Maranhão, Brazil. People from the Quilombo Santa Rosa dos Pretos during a religious festivity.

  • Ilha da Maré, Bahia. Daily life in the Quilombo of Ilha da Maré. The community lives of fishing mainly provided by fisherwomen. The Quilombo's communities of Ilha da Maré are deeply affect by the pollution caused by petrochemical factories located in the area.

  • Januaria, Minas Gerais. A Quilombo’s farmer stands in his house. Some years ago part of the land of the Quilombo was sold by a landowner to an other despite according to the Quilombo’s Community the land is own by the state.

  • Januaria, Minas Gerais. A local boy of the Quilombo of Croatá rides on his horse. The Quilombo’s Community ask several time to the city hall to take care of the roads but they didn’t carried on the works of mainteinance.

  • Belo Vale. Brazil. An object used to torture slaves is seen in the Slavery Museum of Belo Vale. The Slavery Museum is one of the few institution in Brazil that shows the slavery past of the Country.

  • Januaria, Minas Gerais. A horse breeds inside the Quilombo.


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