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Portraits from the gold mine


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“Portraits from the gold mine”
A visual essay by Luciana Massaro

Friday 13 April, 17.00 in the library on the 5th floor, after the CEDLA Lecture “Mining conflicts and indigenous peoples' access to justice in Guatemala.”
During the opening there will be drinks and an introduction to the exposition by the photographer, Luciana Massaro, and critical gold-mining researchers dr. Marjo de Theije and Leontien Cremers.

Small-scale gold mining is one of the causes of environmental degradation and socio-political conflicts. The use of mercury and deforestation represent a severe threat to the environment and to the health of the miners and their families. At the same time, this activity offers a livelihood opportunity to over 100 million people in more than fifty countries, many hundreds of thousands of which are spread in the Amazon region.

The exhibition shows the portraits of different figures involved in small-scale mining in the Vale do Rio Peixoto, state of Mato Grosso (Brazil). Here, the miners are organized into a cooperative that seeks to integrate innovative, effective, and cleaner technology in order to increase gold production, but also decrease the impact on the environment.

This visual essay was part of an anthropological research on small-scale gold mining technology within the GOMIAM Project.