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Infrastructures and socioenvironmental impacts: politics of nature at Sobradinhos dam

Grant number: 19/20291-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2020
Effective date (End): February 28, 2022
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Anthropology
Principal researcher:Renzo Romano Taddei
Grantee:Felipe Silva Figueiredo
Home Institution: Escola de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (EFLCH). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus Guarulhos. Guarulhos , SP, Brazil


Since the colonization, the history of the constitution of the Brazilian Northeast goes through attempts to domesticate its landscape, culminating in big environmental engineering projects performed throughout the twentieth century. This is the case, for example, of public politices of drought combat implemented by the DNOCS (National Department of Works Against Drought); construction of hydropower plants; mineral exploration; and the modern industry of agriculture. If, on the one hand, these projects impose on the region and the people living there "modern" practices of living in managing the environment, on the other, they often encounter resistance from the semi-arid climate and the ways of life of the traditional populations that occupy this place. One of the most prominent infrastructure projects built in the region was the Sobradinho hydropower plant (HPP), in the 1980s, being one of the main electricity generators in the northeast. Starting from the context of modernization with energy production that continues to develop in Sobradinho to this day (as in the case of wind and solar energies), this research objective is to analyze the socialenvironment influences of infrastructures. The people of Sobradinho city and the engineers and technicians of the São Francisco Hydroelectric Company (CHESF), responsible for the hydroelectric plant in question will be interviewd. From this, we can think about the long-term socioenvironmental influences of infrastructure works such as these, taking into account the perspective of those who are affected by it (spatially, culturally and even emotionally). Finally, we will reflect on the contexts of anthropogenic environmental changes in the development of the Brazilian electricity sector. (AU)

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