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Story Publication logo December 17, 2020

Scorched Earth: Alcântara's Eternal Déjà Vu (Portuguese)


Pasture areas derived from illegal deforestation near the Menkragnoti Indigenous Land in Pará. Image by Marcio Isensee/Shutterstock. Brazil, date unknown.

This project focuses on the spread of the new coronavirus throughout the Brazilian Amazon forest in...

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Illustration by Gustavo Caboco/Le Monde Diplomatique.
Illustration by Gustavo Caboco/Le Monde Diplomatique.

What if your relatives, neighbors and friends were threatened with territorial expulsion by the federal government in the midst of a pandemic? That's what happened in Alcântara, Maranhão. Historian Davi Pereira Júnior, who is also a quilombola, speaks about how this new situation of violence brings to light memories of other removals and abandonment of his people.

In this photo essay made especially for Scorched Earth, Avener Prado photographed the podcast subjects from a distance. They are pictures of screens, in which the characters appear a little blurred, half-pixelized. In addition to respecting social distancing protocols, the idea is to bring a portrait of the images that are formed by making connection with the most diverse corners of the country.

Additional Sources Quoted in the Episode

  • Jornal da Record
  • Record News
  • TV Brasil
  • Jornal Nacional
  • Personal archive of Davi Pereira Junior


This episode was produced by Davi Pereira Júnior. "Scorched Earth" is a project from Le Monde Diplomatique Brasil, with the support of the Rainforest Journalism Fund in partnership with the Pulitzer Center. A production of Fábio Zuker, with Trovão Mídia. The sound direction is by Ricardo Monteiro. The sound editing is by Tomás Xavier. The soundtrack is by studio ó. The podcast artwork is by indigenous artist Gustavo Caboco. Photos by Avener Prado.

To view this story in Portuguese via Le Monde Diplomatique Brasil, click here. To listen in Portuguese via Spotify, click here

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