Marina Ertzogue
Orcid ID: 0000-0002-7854-736X
Universidad Federal de Tocantins, Brasil

Monise Busquets
Orcid ID: 0000-0002-2873-1484
Universidad Federal de Tocantins, Brasil


This paper addresses the effects of sociability mesh among populations affected by Usina Hidroelétrica Belo Monte (Belo Monte Hydroelectric Power Plant –PA). The loss of sociability mesh is depicted on Amazonian arpilleras. This is a textile handicraft technique made by women from Isla Negra (Chile), which reemerged as an instrument of resistance during Pinochet’s dictatorship (1973-1990). Arpillera workshops were based on the Solidarity Vicarship, a branch of the Catholic Church engaged in the defence of human rights. In Brazil, their offices were brought up by the Movement of Dam-Affected People (2012) as a means to report breaches on affected populations’ rights because of dams. According to the Report of the Human Rights Defence Council (2010), considering populations affected, women show an extreme vulnerability. The MAB’s Women Collective, in an effort to visibilize socioeconomic losses and their rights’ breach, set up Arpillera workshops in nine states across the country aiming to train people on this work. Arpilleras crafted were exhibited at the Latin American Memorial (2015) and now enjoy international recognition through Roberta Bacic’s curatorial work; also Brazilian arpilleras are indexed in Conflict Textiles. This paper analyses the effects of uprooting and breaking ties of vicinity among Altamira communities, who used to live in stilt houses and have now been relocated to the Jatobá development. A part of this history is recorded on arpilleras, narratives embroidered by women who turned needlework into a transgressive action.

Keywords: women, dams, Hit by Dams movement, sociability.