Rivers and Whirlpools: a spatial and historical interpretation of La Vorágine The initial scene of the 1972 film, Aguirre, the Wrath of Good, depicts a sixteenth-century expedition descending from the Andeans highlands into the Amazonian lowlands. The expedition led by Francisco Pizarro is in search of the mythical city of El Dorado. The movie, directed by Werner Herzog, is a hodge-podge of different exploratory travels of sixteenth-century conquistadores, from Francisco de Orellana’s upriver Amazonian voyage to Lope de Aguirre’s downriver […]
Land Use and Deforestation in Southeastern Brazil — 1753-1840 This article analyzes the pressure of farming on tropical forests in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Brazil. Making use of GIS technology, it was possible to create a map for the South Central of the Minas Gerais province and geocode historical data for agriculture and livestock production. We have found an association between corn and swine production in areas of forest, and we suggest a correlation of the practices of slash-and-burn agriculture, pig […]
The Plays of França Júnior is an interactive visualization showing the social network formed by the characters in the plays of Brazilian nineteenth-century playwright França Júnior. This visualization is part of a larger research project on social networks in Brazilian literature led by Zephyr Frank at Stanford University’s Spatial History Project. See the interactive visualization here. It is plain, then, that there is an intention to encapsulate a representative type of the Brazilian ruling class, through relationships peculiar to him […]
Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas / The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas is an animation showing the social network formed by the characters in the Machado de Assis‘s nineteenth-century Brazilian novel. This visualization is part of a larger research project on social networks in Brazilian literature led by Zephyr Frank at Stanford University’s Spatial History Project. In this narrated visualization, the characters in Machado de Assis’s masterpiece are presented in the space of social […]
The South Atlantic Columbian Exchange In his classic 1972 book, The Columbian Exchange, Alfred W. Crosby Jr. assesses the biological and cultural consequences of the introduction of new species into transatlantic environments. From 1492 on, different species of animals, plants, viruses and bacteria were exchanged between the Old and New Worlds following their human symbiotic companions. The consequences of these exchanges for human history were manifold — from the decimation of the majority of Americas’ indigenous population by Old-World germs […]
Perspectivism and the Decolonization of the Subject The more the colonized has assimilated the cultural values of the metropolis, the more he will have escaped the bush. — Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks To understand the terms of the colonial difference established in the last 500 hundred years between colonizer and colonized it is necessary to disassemble the ideas of man and humanity that have been at the center of the European thought since the Renaissance. Walter Mignolo is […]
Eu, o Vinil, e o Resto do Mundo (I, the Vinyl LP, and the Rest of the World) I wrote, produced, and animated along with Ricardo Fernandes the opening for this 2010 documentary about hip-hop DJs in São Paulo. It was directed by Karina Ades and Lila Rodrigues.