Still from 1978 - Submerged City, by Caetano Dias. Courtesy Videobrasil.
Still from 1978 - Submerged City, by Caetano Dias. Still from 1978 - Submerged City, by Caetano Dias. Courtesy Videobrasil.

The video 1978 - Submerged City, by Caetano Dias, shows the relationship of a fisherman with the memories of his old city. It is a documentary that sometimes mixes fiction and reality to tell a story about buried nostalgia using a character who navigates and fishes over his own memories. It is about this work that Professor Alejandra Hernández Muñoz[1] reflected in the new episode of the Videobrasil Commentary Collection. Check it out below:

Between 1971 and 1982, the Sobradinho Hydroelectric Power Plant was built, on the São Francisco River, in Bahia. For this, the old cities of Pilão Arcado, Sento Sé, Casa Nova and Sobradinho itself had to be flooded. Muñoz notes that “in these waters, a reservoir of yesteryear marks a resistance to oblivion”. It is a water tank located, now, inside the dam, with its function nullified, a pure container of a memory that will soon no longer exist either.

In the context of the dam survey, more than 70 people were allocated to settlements built in nearby locations and given the same names as the flooded cities, whose ruins usually appear in periods of drought, “remains of the violence of a past that underlies the apparent serenity of the landscape”, as Muñoz observes. These ruins, in the silence of the video and in the lack of dialogue, bring up the enigma of “who are these flooded people who walk on the shores of the lake?”

The same water that supplies light and energy to the community is the mode of erasure of its previous existence, and this tank, as an uncomfortable presence of the impossibility of covering everything, becomes a kind of resistance to this steamroller of progressive policies and discourse. of development.

The teacher reinforces in the Commented Video that “the dam is the result of this Herculean operation of man on nature”, and leaves the question: “What are the results of this colossal interference in the environment?”

In issue #52 of arte!brasileiros, through the work of photographer Gideon Mendel, we briefly delve into this issue. Check out Mendel's work on this link.

Still don't know the Commented Collection?

Videobrasil Commented Collection is a partnership between arte!brasileiros and Associação Cultural Videobrasil. Every 15 days we publish, on our platform and on our social networks, a part of its important collection of works, gathered in more than 30 years of trajectory. Check out the other episodes in this link.

About Videobrasil

A institution was created in 1991 by Solange Farkas, the result of the desire to host a growing collection of works and publications, which has been gathered since the first edition of the Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_Videobrasil (still Videobrasil Festival, in 1983). Since its creation, the association has worked systematically to activate this collection, which brings together works from the so-called geopolitical South of the world – Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia and the Middle East –, especially video art classics, own productions and a vast collection. of art publications.

This project contributes to “rediscovering and relating works from the Videobrasil collection, and thematic aspects, in the voice of critics, curators and thinkers, illuminating urgent contemporary issues”, says Farkas.

[1] Alejandra Hernández Muñoz, Uruguayan, lives in Salvador since 1992, is an architect, Master in Urban Design and PhD in Urbanism from the Faculty of Architecture of the Federal University of Bahia (FAU/UFBA). She is a permanent professor of Art History at the School of Fine Arts (EBA / UFBA). She was part of the curatorial teams of the Rumos Artes Visuais 2011-2013 Program at Instituto Itaú Cultural (São Paulo), the 3rd Bahia Biennial 2014 and the 21st Bienal Sesc_Videobrasil 2019 (São Paulo).

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