“Belo Monte is a monster of developmentalism”
“Belo Monte is a monster of developmentalism”
Anthropologist criticizes the construction of hydropower plant on the Xingu, stating that it causes more impacts than benefits, and may affect up to, in the long term, INDIGENOUS traditions
Date: 10/16/2012 06:45 Publication: O GLOBO-RJ Editors: The GLOBE TOMORROW
CAMILA NAKAMURA email@example.com
While INDIGENOUS PEOPLE of various ethnicities, as well as fishermen, bordering and small farmers occupied the construction site of the Belo Monte hydroelectric plant, in southern Pará, in a demonstration against the construction of the power plant, the anthropologist, Carmen Junqueira did a swing of their research with the peoples of the region, in the Auditorium of the UNIVERSITY of São Paulo, during the Colloquium Transformations of Biopoliticsin the last 10 days. It was shortly after the creation of the Xingu Indigenous Park, by then President Jânio Quadros and by pressure from the Villas-Boas brothers, she stepped in for the first time and came with a passion that went into his studies, in private life, and in your home: the INDIGENOUS peoples of Alto Xingu, especially the Kamayurá, until today important reference of indigenous culture. Since 1965, she visits regularly and even receives at home, in São Paulo, accompanying changes, mainly as a result of economic development that took the villages of isolation.
In almost 50 years studying ethnicity, she has examined the increasing contact with the white culture, and sees part of the new features in the villages as inherent in the process. But the speech contents of anthropologist changes when it comes to the Belo Monte dam.
In half a second reply, she says: “I am against”. Carmen classifies the construction of the hydroelectric plant, which is being played by the North Energy Consortium-responsible for construction and operation of the Belo Monte dam-as part of a developmental project of the Government that tramples the historical and cultural value of local populations.
How do you see that happening at this point in the construction sites of the North energy, in Southwest Pará? The occupants are defending their own survival. Most of us don’t know the knowledge of INDIGENOUS peoples, bordering and many others who care for nature. They represent a break from the monotonous consumerist subservience, offering diversity and originality. We don’t know, but they are also defending us.
On behalf of progress, which has been the watchword in the country? They are in defending a developmental fury.
I am totally against large dams. I know that we have to generate power, but the impact of these monstrous ventures is very harmful. I believe in another model, more local, with small hydro, energy of ocean waves, the Sun tucurui hydroelectric know property (on the Tocantins River in Pará) and, when I was there, I couldn’t even fit it in a photo, given the size of the monster. And the story of Balbina (Amazonas State) everyone already knows, this is a joint venture with large impacts, incompatible with the benefits.
The lady was in Altamira, in whose surroundings are being made the works of Belo Monte. When was it, and what was the scene there? I was there when the buzz began, saw the project closely, talked with people. What is happening there is a development at any cost. Will affect many INDIGENOUS peoples, such as the Kaiapós and Juruna, besides rural populations. I don’t know how it will look when you’re done, the impacts on populations, however, will be immense. And this energy generated goes for industries, the DOE not even takes almost nothing for himself.
And Kamaiurá, main focus of her studies since the late 1960, will be affected? The Kamayurá are a bit further down in para. Directly will not be affected, but today what happens in the Xingu region affects everyone. They are no longer isolated.
There will be secondary consequences. Change the flora, the fauna, changes that affect populations, which are expelled and not part of the process. When they say “Oh, but it is just what will be used in the territory”, is an argument mediocre at best. The territory is theirs, and, for all we did with the INDIGENOUS peoples, we have at least a moral debt with them.
What are the main changes that you have already enrolled in the behavior of the Kamayurá people since the beginning of his forays to the site? Like all indigenous people, they are very fond of honey. Suddenly sugar emerges as a bargain. This started since the time of the Villas-Boas brothers, who, however, disliked Indians acquire all our habits. After the Decade of 1990, Kamaiurá began to buy too much sugar in packets of five pounds.
Today already has a girl with diabetes in the village.
What I mean by this? This entry of capitalism changed the behavior in hamlets. Will changing the taste. Capitalism colonize even the appetite of the Indians, who began to consume what we consume.
Today, lists of gifts that they ask me to return have products for waxing, hair embellishment, and other things that sort in the category news, ranging from dogs to electronic gadgets.
Young people today have access to social networks, which brings more changes yet. They have a radio show and, the other day, were interview me again. For the first time, one of them has passed the word to the other saying “is with you, Bene”. This is not the football thing? Today they charge, charge for image rights. Already understood the monetary economy, though for them the Exchange is still paramount.
The ecopolítica, focus of the Colloquium of today, it is proposed to analyse management practices that include control mechanisms of populations, within participatory democracy. What are the impacts of this control over the INDIGENOUS peoples? They are going through several line-up changes and theoretically have more power, but not real. And on changes in daily life, they regard it as natural. Just go on the defensive even when there may be impacts on tradition. Did interviews in the village to find out what they called tradition. Are rites and myths, what they value most. It is not the money. While tradition for us has to do with routine work, family, children, for them is the art. This is what we value most.
And this all can be affected by these large enterprises? This cultural loss should enter in the calculation of these great works. But did not enter, nobody gives value to it. The large enterprises change the flora and fauna; It is possible that the regime of fish change. The survival of xinguanos may be affected. The biggest danger is with the precarizada power, and they start to turn to eco-tourism. It would be disastrous if start perform their ceremonies even for English see. over time, these ceremonies could lose its character became, his memory, becoming just the show.
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