Photo Journal Mondays: Júlia Pontés
Project: Pig Iron
Mining is so deeply rooted in the Brazilian State of Minas Gerais, that it runs in the blood of almost every single citizen – including my own. The smell of burned iron ore is familiar and oddly comforting.
The women in my family have a genetic disease that their bodies have a limited capacity of processing iron - I started showing the first signs of it in the past few years.
Conversely, my family had an iron processing plant for almost 55 years, founded by my grandfather. His endeavor prospered and led to its expansion a few decades later. I owe all the opportunities I had in life to the iron industry.
Life runs in cycles and, the now abandoned plant, has been properly reclaimed by nature and the spaces filled with new life.
Even though 85% of the State’s economy revolves around mining - and around 15% in the country’s economy. It has been causing uncountable environmental devastation, destruction and social disparities. As a side effect of this activity in the State, there is semi slavery, high levels of prostitution, lack of water, pollution, increase of temperature, etc. I am now fierce activist against mining activities in my state, but historically, I was part of the system.
In the land as a body, mining exploration is a violent act of penetration. The new matter is conquered by a constant extirpation where the subject is defenseless.