The images of Brazilian protests against the World Cup in June 2013 were seen around the world. They seemed to mark a new beginning for social and political mobilization and an increasing critique of the government. Although a quarter of the entire Brazilian population has risen to the middle class under the government of the Worker’s Party of Lula and Dilma Rousseff, social inequality has been rising in Brazil, particularly with regard to gender and ethnicity. The middle class, which can only rarely afford domestic help, cars and a good education, is protesting heavily against those in government who are ensnared in corruption scandals.
There are many reasons to look critically at the largest country in Latin America. Brazil, one of the five largest political economies in the world, was indeed successfully able to weather the economic crisis. In the phase of expansion, however, hardly any thought was given to ecological resources and indigenous ways of living. Davi Kopenawa Yanomami, the Brazilian activist from the organisation ‘Hutukara’, which advocates worldwide for the rights of the indigenous Yanomami, depicts the destruction of the Brazilian forest in his book "The Falling Sky". Just this past autumn the very existence of the indigenous population was imminently threatened by the country’s largest environmental catastrophe. After a dam broke, a poisonous mudslide full of iron ore literally buried not only people and localities in the region of Minas Gerais under its path, but it also turned the Rio Doce, one of the most important sources for drinking water in south-eastern Brazil, into a biologically dead river. The deforestation of the Amazon rain forest and the Mata Atlântica, the rainforest on the eastern coast of Brazil, which is closely connected with European corporations and business markets, is an indication of our involvement in Brazilian politics. Although attention to environmental problems is on the rise in Brazilian society, the most important current themes– much like in the western world as well – are still other areas such as the economy, politics and culture.
HAU Hebbel am Ufer – in alliance with various production houses – is inviting numerous artists to share their views of the current situation in Brazil. Performances as well as discussions, debates, artistic interventions and installations. “Projeto Brasil – The Sky Is Already Falling” shows that there is another Brazil beyond samba, Copacabana, football and caipirinhas, but also beyond ordinary projections and viewpoints.