Extractable Matters on Film #5 | Carolina Caycedo: A Gente Rio / We River

Carolina Caycedo: A Gente Rio / We River, 2016


Single channel HD Video. Sound and Color, 29 min 29 sec, 2016. Commissioned by the 32 Bienal de Sao Paulo - Incerteza Viva.

A Gente Rio / We River considers the connections between sites of extractive and industrial infrastructure and environmental disasters in Brazil. The film focuses on four sites: the Itaipu Dam, the second-largest hydroelectric plant in the world, where the process of land expropriation became the catalyst for the emergence of the Landless Workers’ Movement (MST); the Belo Monte Dam on the Xingu River, where environmental licensing has been marked by a series of irregularities and profound indigenous resistance; the Bento Rodrigues Dam, which collapsed, releasing hazardous waste from the mining company Samarco and caused an unprecedented environmental disaster in Brazil; and, lastly, the Vale do Ribeira, where indigenous, caiçara and quilombola communities have been resisting against the construction of a dam.

The artist highlights the accumulated knowledge of the communities, presenting a collective body resisting the extinction imposed by development-oriented projects. 

Carolina Caycedo (b.1978) is London-born Colombian multidisciplinary artist known for her performances, video, artist’s books, sculptures and installations that examine environmental and social issues. She participates in movements of territorial resistance, solidarity economies, and housing as a human right. Her work contributes to the construction of environmental historical memory, as a fundamental element for non-repetition of violence against human and non-human entities.

Among others, she held residencies at the DAAD in Berlin, and The Huntington Libraries, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California; received funding from Creative Capital, and Prince Claus Fund; participated in the Chicago Architecture, Sao Paulo, Istanbul, Berlin, and Whitney Biennials. Recent and upcoming solo shows include Care Report at Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź; Wanaawna, Rio Hondo and Other Spirits at Orange County Museum of Art; Cosmoatarrayas at ICA Boston; and From the Bottom of the River at MCA Chicago. Caycedo is the 2020 Wanlass Artist in Residence at Occidental College in Los Angeles. She is a member of the Los Angeles Tenants Union and the Rios Vivos Colombia Social Movement.