Maria do Socorro Silva is a descendant of enslaved Africans, and an Indigenous woman of the Amazon forest, in the region of Barcarena. Like her ancestors, Maria has resisted and rebelled against colonial, capitalist forces, who see the land and women’s bodies as property for the taking. Norst Hyrdo is a Norwegian company that extracts raw materials from Barcarena. High levels of aluminum, iron, copper, arsenic, mercury and lead have been found in the Murucupi River in Barcarena, contaminating the river that Indigenous communities depend on, leading to illness and death. Maria, herself fighting cancer caused by the contamination, also fights by sharing her story to young climate activists, explaining to them the connection between the health of Indigenous Peoples to the health of the environment. Like her ancestors, Maria resists and fights for the next generation.
Photo credit: Liliana Merizalde/Atmos