A captain* and his horde sail the seas of the flat Earth. Rude and awkward, the new Messiah** sails looking up to the sky… God here carries a rifle.
Sobremarinhos - Capitanias e Tiranias (Captaincies and Tyrannies) shows the history of how the Brazilian landscape is used to cover up state violence, specifically during the dictatorship period, and again under the Bolsonaro regime. The project reflects on nature, politics, and nationalist symbols connected to authoritarian regimes past and present.
The book was produced as a result of an exhibition held in the spring of 2019 on the Fernando de Noronha Islands, a Natural Heritage of Humanity site and Brazil’s first hereditary captaincy —and also the target of current president of Brazil, Jair Messias Bolsonaro. The archipelago was a prison for political prisoners of the military dictatorship of 1964. In addition to images from that time, the book includes texts, collages, videos and photographs.
The exhibition was held on the 5th month of Jair Bolsonaro’s presidency, at a time when the government and its allies were violently censoring art exhibitions. Followers of the president threatened and intimidated the artist’s crew. These threats were incorporated into the book (see the pink pages).
*Jair Bolsonaro is a former army captain and a notorious supporter of the military dictatorship in Brazil. A president sponsored by the arms industry, he is currently trying to impose a theocratic state. Some of his ministers and supporters refuse science, and don’t believe in climate change or global warming.
** Messiah = Messias in portuguese. Messias is the middle name of the Brazilian president, Jair Messias Bolsonaro.
Gilvan Barreto is a Brazilian photographer, visual artist, and filmmaker. His work focuses on political issues, social issues, and the relationship between man and nature. Barreto researches how the Brazilian landscape is used to cover up state violence, social injustices, the destruction of the environment, and the people who inhabit the forests. His most recent works reveal traces of the military dictatorship, the contemporary growth of fascism in Brazil — and the consequences for nature.