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Project February 16, 2022

The Tensions at the Amazon’s Fringe



Located at the transition between the legal Amazon and the Brazilian backlands, the Maranhão state’s marshland is known as “the Amazon forest’s fringe.” A land ignored for centuries, the marshland in recent years has suffered huge social and environmental impacts due to the expansion of economic development in the Amazon.

The first impacts started during the 1960s with the implementation of a buffalo breeding industry. As the decades passed, the Indigenous and Quilombola peoples lost their territories due to illegal land grabbing, which created violent conflicts.

In 2020, the construction of an energy transmission line contaminated the marshlands and killed up to 90% of its fish, the main food source and economic asset for the local communities. To avoid the contamination of their small territory, the Akroá-Gamella people stopped the construction, which caused conflicts with the local police last November.

This project proposes a visual investigation of the stress caused by Amazon economic development in the Maranhão marshlands, creating a report showing the problems faced by the local population.