Guerilla of the Living
Fluorescent speakers flicker in the tropical night. Armed with a high-tech arsenal, the Brazilian artist Gabriela Carneiro da Cunha presides over a techno-shamanist ceremony dedicated to the Xingu River and the River people displaced by the construction of the Belo Monte Dam. Altamira 2042, a product of Carneiro da Cunha’s long-term research around Amazonian river ecosystems destroyed by Man, carries the language of waterways and animals and the voices of all that makes up the land.
Taking the form of an eco-feminist fable, this interactive installation activated by Carneiro da Cunha draws on modern and traditional technologies. The result of extended dialogue with the peoples of the river, this haunting, elaborate solo piece calls for an “Amazonization” of the world, a battle in which life stands its ground against the destructive forces of progress. Stunning and staggering, Altamira 2042 is an ode to the solidarity of living things and a cry of warning.
Produced by Corpo Rastreado + Aruac Filmes
Conception and Creation Gabriela Carneiro da Cunha
Directed by Gabriela Carneiro da Cunha + Fleuve Xingu River
Direction Advisor Cibele Forjaz
Assistant Directors João Marcelo Iglesias + Clara Mor + Jimmy Wong
Research orientation and Artistic interaction Dinah De Oliveira + Sonia Sobral
Texts Bel Juruna + Eliane Brum + Raimunda Gomes Da Silva + João Pereira Da Silva + Povos Indígenas Araweté E Juruna + Lariza + Thais Mantovanelli + Mc Fernando + Mc Rodrigo – Poeta Marginal + Antonia Mello + Marcelo Salazar + Thais Santi
Programming Bruno Carneiro + Computadores Fazem Arte
Multimedia Bruno Carneiro + Rafael Frazão
Images Gabriela Carneiro da Cunha + Cibele Forjaz + João Marcelo Iglesias + Clara Mor + Eryk Rocha
Video Gabriela Carneiro da Cunha + Rafael Frazão + João Marcelo Iglesias
Text Editing Gabriela Carneiro da Cunha + João Marcelo Iglesias
Sound Design Bruno Carneiro + Felipe Storino
Costume Design Carla Ferraz
Lighting Design Cibele Forjaz
Installation Cabeção + Gabriela Carneiro da Cunha + Carla Ferraz + Ciro SchouVisual Design Rodrigo Barja
Body Work Paulo Mantuano + Mafalda Pequenino
Research Eliane Brum + Gabriela Carneiro da Cunha + Dinah De Oliveira + Cibele Forjaz João + Marcelo Iglesias + Clara Mor + Mafalda Pequenino + Eryk Rocha + Sonia Sobral
Production Director Gabriela Gonçalves
International distribution Judith Martin / Ligne Directe
Co-produced by Mitsp – São Paulo International Theater Festival + FarOFFa Festival (São Paulo)
Presented in association with Agora de la danse + Tangente
North American première
Written by Elsa Pépin
Translated by David Dalgleish
Premiered at São Paulo International Theatre Festival, on March 19, 2019
About the artist
Gabriela Carneiro da Cunha (São Paulo)
Originally an actress, Brazil’s Gabriela Carneiro da Cunha has worked with directors such as Ariane Mnouchkine, Grace Passô, and Eryk Rocha during her theatrical and cinematic career. She is also a stage director, filmmaker, and researcher who has been working on a research project since 2013 that collects testimonies about endangered Brazilian rivers and the people who live along their banks, marginalized from the historical, political, and economic processes that lead to dispossession.
The Riverbank Project, subtitled “About Rivers, Buiúnas, and Fireflies,” led to her regularly going the Amazon rainforest, where she established a network of activists campaigning for women, rivers, and art, the Rede Buiúnas.
The first phase of the project, the work Guerrillas or To Earth There Are No Missing Persons (2015), focused on the Araguaia River and the fate of the women who fought in the Araguaia guerrilla group. In it, Carneiro da Cunha shared the testimonies of the riverbank’s inhabitants. After touring Brazil, in 2019 the play was performed in the region where the conflicts actually took place, accompanied by presentations, workshops, and debates. In Altamira 2042, Carneiro da Cunha turns her attention to a tributary of the Amazon, the Rio Xingu, and the Belo Monte Dam, which poses a massive threat to the habitats and zones of the tropical forest along the river’s banks. Created in Sao Paulo in 2019, this solo performance piece which has toured Brazil and Europe focuses on the language of the river itself and all the entities, human and non-human, that form its ecosystem, its life. The audio-visual installation amplifies the testimonies of those who have been affected by the dam’s construction. During the performance, the audience is invited to actively join the resistance.