Newsletter Nr. 33 (September 2019, subsequent to our 33rd Annual Conference of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies, in the Brazilian Amazon, 28th August – 7th September 2019)

Compiled by Evelin G. Lindner, in 2019
(Note: This newsletter is written in British English, since this conference took place outside of the U.S. In our NY workshops, we usually use American English.)


 

Contents

•  Pictures
•  Thanks!
•  Evelin Lindner's reflections
•  Your reflections after our conference
•  Announcements and Good News
•  What Is the Aim of Our Work?
•  Welcome Again!


 

Pictures

(Important note to our conference particants: During our conferences, we always make an effort to ask for your permission to have your pictures posted on this website. However, you may have overheard or misunderstood our question, or you may have changed your mind since, either in total or for specific pictures/videos, please let us know! Thank you! Since we wish to walk the talk of dignity, it is very important for us to do our utmost in respecting everybody's privacy. We refrain from gathering written permissions from you during our conferences, since we value the building of mutual trust in relationships, and we also would like to refrain from contributing to an ever more bureaucratic and legalistic society.)


33rd Annual Conference of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies, in Marabá and Belém, Pará, Brasil
28th August – 7th September 2019
'Cultivating Good Living Amazon: Nurturing Solidarity with Mother Earth'

Hosts, Conveners, and Coordinators:
baron
Manoela Souza and Dan Baron
Directors of the Transformance Institute: Culture & Education
and its AfroRaiz Youth Collective of the 'Rios de Encontro' (Rivers of Meeting) project in the Community University of the Rivers in Marabá, Pará, Brasil
See Rios de Encontro: Towards a Good Living Amazon (Flying River Tour)


Sandro Ruggeri Dulcet
Directeur général at Humana Comunicação & Tradução, and Director at HUMANA COM & TRAD
See Instituto Humana, Belém, Pará, Brasil


Gabriela Rodrigues Saab Riva
Human Rights Law and Environmental Law (USP)
Specialist in the Right to Water as a Human Right, Researcher of HumanDHS, São Paulo, Brasil

Still photos:
We thank Dan Baron, Gaby Saab, and Evelin Lindner for sharing their photos with us!

Day One, 28th August 2019
• Please click here to see the pictures of the visit to the Câmara Municipal de Marabá, Prefeitura de Marabá, the City Hall of Marabá or the Marabá City Council
• Please click here to see the pictures of the end of the day in a restaurant overlooking the river Tocantins in Marabá

Day Two, 28th August 2019
• Please click here to see the welcome from the AfroRaiz Collective of young artists
• Please click here to see the Escola Irmã Theodora, a public school in Marabá
• Please click here to see the dialogue session at the Federal University of Southern and Southeastern Pará (UNIFESSPA) with students and teachers of the Law of the Land

Day Three, 30th August 2019
• Please click here to see photos of the interview in Radio Correio 92.1 with Dan Baron, Evelin Lindner, and Gabriela Saab
• Please click here to see evening photos at the House of Rivers in Cabelo Seco
• Please click here to see photos of the Circle of Love Gifts (see also a little video)

Day Four, 31st August 2019
• Please click here to see all 38 photos of our journey to the fishing community on the island Praia Alta in the Tocantins river
• Please click here to see all 90 photos in Vila Praia Alta
• Please click here to see all 33 photos in Tauiry

Day Five, 1st September 2019
• Please click here to see all 39 photos of our journey to the Assentamento (Settlement) de Nova Ipixuna
• Please click here to see all 18 photos of the recording session
• Please click here to see all 29 photos of our time in Nova Ipixuna
• Please click here to see all 42 photos of our way back from Nova Ipixuna to Marabá

Day Six, 2nd September 2019
• Please click here to see all 14 photos of this day in Marabá

Day Seven, 3rd September 2019
• Please click here to see all 57 photos of the flight from Marabá to Belém
• Please click here to see all 8 photos of the little shop in the airport of Belém that gave a good overview over the riches of the Amazon
• Please click here to see all 10 photos of our first meeting in the Belém part of our conference

Day Eight, 4th September 2019
• Please click here to see all 20 photos of our visit to the Federal University of Pará (UFPA)
• Please click here to see all 95 photos of our journey to the Instituto Humana on Mosqueiro Island
• Please click here to see all 7 photos of the organic farm that Sandro brought us to
• Please click here to see all 29 photos of our conference at the Instituto Humana of Sandro Ruggeri Dulcet, see Evelin Lindner's contribution 'Encontre e conecte! Please Meet and Connect!', and Kamolrat Intaratat's contribution (recorded on 7th September)
• Please click here to see all 12 photos offered to us by Sandro Ruggeri Dulcet to introduce his Instituto Humana to us, see the wonderful film that Sandro created about his work

Day Nine, 5th September 2019
• Please click here to see all 8 photos of the Recanto da Preguiça / Lazy Sloth Corner
• Please click here to see all 4 photos of the way to Belém
• Please click here to see all 3 photos of the breakfast of Belém
• Please click here to see all 13 photos of the streets in Belém
• Please click here to see all 25 photos of the Museu Goeldi
• Please click here to see all 12 photos of the Kayapo exhibition
• Please click here to see all photos of the interview with Marlucia Martins
• Please click here to see all 13 photos of the Resto do Parque
• Please click here to see all 17 photos of the way to the Palaco Capanagem
• Please click here to see all 13 photos of the event with Deputado Dirceu Ten Caten
• Please click here to see all 5 photos of the centre of Belém

Day Ten, 6th September 2019
• Please click here to see all 93 photos of the boat journey from Belém to the island of Combú
• Please click here to see all 21 photos of the chocolate atelier on the island of Combú
• Please click here to see all 38 photos of the Saldosa Maloca restaurant on the island of Combú
• Please click here to see all 10 photos of the 'Street River' graffiti project on the island of Combú

Post-conference
• Please click here to see all 18 photos of the Praça da República in Belém on 8th September
• Please click here to see all 42 photos of the Ver-o-peso market in Belém on 9th September
• Please click here to see all 10 photos of the ubiquitous 'cable salad' also in Belém (3rd – 9th September 2019)
• Please click here to see all 38 photos of the flight from Belém to São Paulo on 10th Septembe

Videos:
Thank you so much, dear Gaby Saab, Evelin Lindner, and many others, for creating many important video-recordings!

Pre-conference preparations:
01 Rios de Encontro: Towards a Good Living Amazon (Flying River Tour)
02 Gaby Saab Welcomes Everyone to the Dignity Conference WhatsApp Group, 23rd August 2019
03 Michael Boyer Introduces the Dignity Greeting, 23rd August 2019

Day One, 28th August 2019
04 The members of the Rivers of Encounter Project were welcomed by the City Hall of Marabá, Pará, Amazon, Brasil. This is the relevant section edited out by Evelin Lindner from the video of the entire session that was recorded by the City Hall and posted on their Facebook page
05 Evelin Lindner's Message to the City Council of Marabá in the Amazonian State of Pará, Brasil (recorded on her own camera)

Day Two, 29th August 2019
06 Johan Galtung and Antonio Carlos da Silva Rosa on Skype

Day Three, 30th August 2019
07.0 Interview with Dan Baron, Gaby Saab, and Evelin Lindner in Radio Correio 92.1 in Marabá
07 Circle of Love Gifts

Day Four, 31st August 2019
08 The Babaçu Palm and Its Beetle Larva Gongo in Vila Praia Alta on Ilha do Praia Alta in the river Tocantins near Marabá in the Amazonian State of Pará, Brasil
09 Tapioca in Vila Praia Alta
10 Urucum in Vila Praia Alta
11 The World Dignity University Initiative in Vila Praia Alta
12 Manoel de Deus Gomes da Silva in Vila Praia Alta
13 Leaving Praia Alta island by boat and at the end of the day back to Marabá by car
14 Rafael Cabral in Tauiry
15 Cristiane (Cris) Vieira da Cunha in Tauiry
16 Ronaldo Macena do Tauiry in Tauiry

Day Five, 1st September 2019
17 The cross for Claudio and Maria
18 Evandra Vilacoert on fire containment
19 How Evandra Vilacoerts fire brigade contained fires
20 Michelliny Bentes on sustainable technologies to traditional communities
21 Daniel Mangas on sustainable technologies to traditional communities
22 Daniel Santiago Pereira and Anderson Schwamke on sustainable honey production
23 Chicken life in the Amazon
23.1 Claudelice dos Santos and Her Forest School Project

Day Eight, 4th September 2019
24 Instituto Humana, film by Sandro Ruggeri Dulcet
25 'Encontre e conecte! Please Meet and Connect!' Evelin Lindner's Contribution
26/40 Kamolrat Intaratat's contribution (recorded on 7th September)

Day Nine, 5th September 2019
27 The Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi in Belém
28 The Kayapo people presented in the Museu Goeldi
29 The Amazon Day conference at the Museu Goeldi: Ima Celia Guimaraes Vieira
30 The Amazon Day conference at the Museu Goeldi: Marlucia Bonifácio Martins
31 The Amazon Day conference at the Museu Goeldi: Denny Moore
32 The Amazon Day conference at the Museu Goeldi: Closing dialogues
33 Interview with Marlucia Martins on the Amazon Day 2019
34 The Amazon Day at the Parliament of Pará State in Belém: Deputado Dirceu Ten Caten invites Evelin Lindner

Day Ten, 6th September 2019
35 On the way to Combú island
36 Flavia of the Saldosa Maloca restaurant on Combú island
37 Aline Voos on Combú island explaining Andiroba
38 Evelin Lindner on Combú island
39 Vitor Nascimento explains the 'Street River' graffiti project

Day Eleven, 7th September 2019
26/40 Kamolrat Intaratat and her Research Center of Communication and Development Knowledge Management

Post-conference
41 Praça da República in Belém, 8th September 2019
42 Mercado Ver-o-peso in Belém, 9th September 2019

43 A summary of Evelin Lindner's impressions during the conference, 10th October 2019

44 O canto de jovens ribeirinhos em defesa do Pedral do Lourenção (Pará), 16 de outubro de 2019


Photo gallery


The Amazonian State of Pará on the left side, with Marabá and Belém on the right side, in relation to Recife and Brasilia

Our 33rd Annual HumanDHS Dignity Conference in Brasil was unlike any other we had before! The conference took place at the time when the Amazon had just been set on fire (starting for full on 10th August 2019) and everyone was in a state of anxiety, alarm, and emergency. Because of the environmental emergency, the conference didn't take place in a fixed location. Instead it unfolded as a 'caravan conference', where the conveners went to the participants to engage in dignity dialogues. This mobile methodology allowed our efforts to be responsive to the conditions on the ground, sometimes changing course from minute to minute. Thus it became a fluid conference, like a river that always finds its way. We began our conference on 28th August 2019 in Marabá, the 'gate to the industrialisation of the Amazon', and we concluded it in Belém, a place of immense cultural diversity, visionary history, and indigenous roots, on 7th September.
Not only the forest had been set on fire, also important institution were being set 'on fire' while we had our conference, albeit in a different way, such as the federal university of the city of Marabá that was scheduled to close down due to funding being cut. In this dire situation, we attempted to be as supportive as possible and carry out a caravan of dialogues in as dignified and dignifying ways as possible.
We had the great privilege of learning from the true experts of sustainable dignifying life, namely, those who know how to live with the rainforest, rather than against it — we admired the knowledge of a fishing community and a gardening community. We also had the privilege of speaking at the City Council of Marabá, we went to schools and the university (as it was still open for the last days). In Belém, we were honoured by being invited into the Legislative Assembly of the State of Pará on World Amazon Day on 5th September.
The main local conveners in Marabá were Dan Baron and Manoela Souza, who reside in Marabá, and Gabriela Saab from São Paulo, who was also the host of the WhatsApp group for the conference. In Belém, our local convener was Sandro Ruggeri. Evelin Lindner came from outside of Brasil.
This region of the Brazilian Amazon has the greatest biodiversity and concentration of iron ore and drinking water in the world. But it also has the world’s highest statistic for murdered activists and contains the most violent cities (genocide of black youth and extreme abuse of women), with the worst high school education in Brasil (Dan Baron, 10th January 2018).

27th August 2019
Dignity is being (mis-)associated with the destruction of the Rainforest:
In a meeting with nine Amazon state governors called by Jair Bolsonaro on 27th August 2019 to discuss the region’s wildfires, the president pushed the states to back his policies which seek to bring major mining and agribusiness operations onto indigenous lands (doing so would be a direct violation of the 1988 Constitution).
The governor of the Amazonian state of Mato Grosso, Mauro Mendes, speaking on behalf of agribusiness expansion, said that they will have a seminar on mechanised agriculture on indigenous lands next October, and that already 24 indigenous ethnic groups (of altogether 43 groups in his state) are interested. His explanation:
'That is because they want to have their dignity through their work, by exploring their lands'.

Backing Bolsonaro were the governors of Acre, Roraima, Tocantins, Rondônia, Amazonas, Mato Grosso and Amapá states. Only the Pará and Maranhão governors opposed opening more forest areas to development and favoured upholding current indigenous land use rights.
These were opinions voiced by Jair Bolsonary:
• About the Amazon Fund the president said: 'Much of the money comes from abroad, and it comes at a price: demarcation of indigenous lands, conservation areas, quilombolas, national parks. That leads to a place we already know, Brasil’s insolvency. We will have to face that issue somehow'. He offered no evidence that receipt of Amazon Fund moneys has ever been linked to any kind of mandatory land conservation.
• Jair Bolsonaro sees NGO's as 'an invasive international influence and threat to Brazilian sovereignty'.
• The president spoke about the obstacles to agribusiness in the Amazon: 'With all the quilombolas [residents of settlements first established by escaped slaves in Brasil], the reserves, and with environmental protection, our agribusiness will be made impossible. And if agribusiness is over, our economy is over'.
See 'State Governors Support Bolsonaro’s Amazon Mining, Agribusiness Plans', by Jenny Gonzales, Mongabay, 9th September 2019. Mongabay is a U.S.-based non-profit conservation and environmental science news platform

Day One, 28th August 2019
On the morning of Wednesday, 28th August 2019, at the opening of the ordinary session of the Câmara Municipal de Marabá, the City Hall of Marabá, the Marabá City Council welcomed the members of Mano’s and Dan’s Rivers of Encounter Project, as they were scheduled to leave for a tour of four European countries: Austria, Poland, Germany, and Belgium, on 2nd September. Six young people from the Cabelo Seco Community were on their way to defend the Amazon in Europe, showing the strength of culture and what they are doing to help preserve it.
The Câmara Municipal de Marabá, Prefeitura de Marabá, the City Hall of Marabá or the Marabá City Council, is made up of twenty-one seats since 2013 (until 2012 there were thirteen), when, by determination of the Superior Electoral Court, the municipalities got a number of councilors equivalent to their population. The old City Hall building was called Palacete Augusto Dias. The current City Hall building was opened on 23rd December 2010.


These are pictures of the Câmara Municipal de Marabá taken from the internet.


• Please click here to see more pictures of the event. On the photo on the left: Manoela Souza is speaking to the City Hall. On the photo of the right: One of the speakers in the general event, Pedrinho Correa Lima (Abaetetuba, 28.10.1964–) Partido Trabalhista Brasileiro (PTB), one of the councilmen.
See also the article in the local newspaper Correio: 'Jovens vão à Europa defender a Amazônia' (Pdf)
See the link on the maraba.pa.leg.br website: The Camera receives project rivers of meeting


• Please see the video of the relevant section edited out by Evelin Lindner from the video of the entire session (cell phone version) that was recorded by the City Hall and posted on their Facebook page. See also Rios de Encontro: Towards a Good Living Amazon (Flying River Tour)


•  Please see the video of Evelin Lindner's message recorded on her own camera. Dan Baron translated from English to Portuguese.


This is the AfroRaiz Collective (African Roots Collective) that left for a tour of Europe (Austria, Poland, Germany, and Belgium) on 2nd September 2019. On the picture on the left, they thank the participants of the national mental health day on 18th May 2019. On the right side, they celebrate their annual kite festival in their community Cabelo Seco (dry hair) in August 2019. They do so in the midst of the destruction of the Amazon.
• Please click on the pictures to see them larger. We thank Dan Baron for sharing them with us.


This was the situation in the Amazon, seen from Europe in July 2019: 'Brasil Continues to Destroy the Rainforest – But Resistance Is Growing' (Pdf) is an article that was published in Germany in July 2019, explaining how the forest is cut and telling the story of a small indigenous group who vows to resist. It does not mention European drivers of this destruction, such as the EU-Mercosur agreement. The article misleads the European reader to believe that the problem can be solved within Brasil. The European reader remains unaware that European interests work as an amplifier of the problem. Indeed, the problem did not get smaller after July, on the contrary, it got much worse, as fires were started everywhere on 10th August.


We ended the day at a restaurant on the banks of the river Tocantins.
From left: Gabriela Saab, Dan Baron, Manoela Soua, Evelin Lindner.
• Please click here to see more photos.

Day Two, 29th August 2019

House of Rivers, Cabelo Seco, Marabá, Pará


•  Welcome from the AfroRaiz Collective of young artists, cultural and pedagogical leaders from Cabelo Seco


• Please click on the photos above or here to see all photos of this morning session

•  Welcome from the hosts of this Dignity Caravan, Dan Baron and Manoela Souza, Directors of the Transformance Institute Culture & Education and its Community University of the Rivers  

• 
Welcome from the conference convener, Gabriela Rodrigues Saab Riva, Human Rights Law and Environmental Law (USP), Specialist in the Right to Water as a Human Right, Researcher of HumanDHS  

• 
Introduction to the Amazonian frame, Claudelice Santos, Sustainable Extractivist and Law of the Land undergraduate (University of South and South East Pará), sister of assassinated forest protector Zé Cláudio dos Santos  

• 
Introduction to the international frame: Who We Are: Our Global Dignity Family, Evelin Lindner, founder-president of the Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies (HumanDHS) network and World Dignity University Initiative  

• 
12.30 Skype meeting with Johan Galtung and Antonio Carlos da Silva Rosa on the emergency in the Amazon


• Please click on the photo above or here to see it larger
• See also a little video sequence selected from the hour long conversation

Johan Galtung, born 1930, is the principal founder of the discipline of peace and conflict studies. See also 'Johan Galtung, a Pioneer: Conceptualizing Peace Journalism', by Antonio C. S. Rosa, M.A., Editor - TRANSCEND Media Service Peace Journalism, 22nd October 2018.
Antonio Carlos da Silva Rosa, born 1946, is a pioneer in Peace Journalism. He is the founder-editor of the pioneering Peace Journalism website, TRANSCEND Media Service-TMS (from 2008), an assistant to Prof. Johan Galtung, Secretary of the International Board of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment.

• Session at the Escola Irmã Theodora, a public school in Marabá


• Please click on the photos above or here to see all photos of this afternoon session

Please see this letter from a group of young pupils from that school who had organised themselves to look into the destruction of the Amazon:

•  Portuguese original
•  English translation
•  German translation
•  French translation
•  Norwegian translation
(translations by Evelin Lindner)

• 3pm – 4pm Introduction by Gabriela Saab and dialogue session with students and teachers of the Law of the Land at the Federal University of Southern and Southeastern Pará (UNIFESSPA) in Marabá about restorative justice, and ecocide law


• Please click on the photos above or here to see all photos of this evening session

This is a letter to the International Criminal Court and to the UN Secretary-General from the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences and the World Council of Anthropological Associations on 30th August 2019, denouncing the Brazilian government for ecocide.

• 4pm – 5pm Introduction by Evelin Lindner and dialogue session with students and teachers of the Law of the Land at the Federal University of Southern and Southeastern Pará (UNIFESSPA) about healing pedagogies and practices, resilience studies, social media for dignity

Evelin had been asked to touch upon healing pedagogies and practices, resilience studies, social media for dignity. After Gaby's talk she therefore briefly shared with the audience that dignity basically cannot be defined theoretically, that it is embodied. One way to make it visible is by two people holding hands in the way the infinity symbol is formed.

Equal dignity in solidarity is manifested when both partners stay connected while looking into each other's eyes as equals. In this way, they demonstrate unity in diversity (this represents the philosophical notion of non-dualism). Loving solidarity is the strongest force there is. See more further down.

Day Three, 30th August 2019

• 10am – 12am Sandro Campos and Célia Campos interviewed Dan Baron, Evelin Lindner, and Gabriela Saab in Radio Correio 92.1


• Please click on the photos above or here to see all photos of this radio session, and listen to the interview!

• In the House of Rivers in Cabelo Seco: Manoela Souza invited Gaby, Evelin, and Dan to a delicious dinner


• Please click on the photos above or here to see all photos of this evening. On the left side, you see the famous radio bycicle donated by a Dutch anthropologist, after he had visited. See it in action in Rios de Encontro: Towards a Good Living Amazon (Flying River Tour). In the middle you see a unique library, a library whose aim it is to be empty: its books are given to the community! On the right side you see the amazing dinner that Mano had prepared!

• 7pm – 9.30pm House of Rivers in Cabelo Seco: Performance of Flying Rivers by AfroRaiz Collective, with songs by local poets, followed by Roundtable with social movements and community activists   • 9.30pm Circle of Love Gifts (Video)


• Please click on the photos above or here to see all 35 photos of this 'Circle of Love Gifts' session
• See also a little video

Day Four, 31st August 2019

This was an all-day excursion to two fishing communities – the Vila Praia Alta community on the island Ilha Praia Alta in the river Tocantins, and to the Tauiry community on the shores of the river Tocantins – hosted and mentored by biologist and fishing monitor Cristiane (Cris) Vieira da Cunha

The Amazon is threatened not just by logging, not just by arson to clear land for cattle and soya production, it is also threatened by mining, the building of dams, and the blasting of rocks – in this case, the rocks of the Pedral de Lourenção on the way to Ilha Praia Alta – and to turn natural rivers into industrial highways or 'hydrovias'.


• Gabriela Saab and Evelin Lindner had the privilege to have UNIFESSPA professor and researcher Cristiane Vieira da Cunha as host and mentor. In this video, she explains how the Participatory Monitoring Project helps riverside communities understand more about their own activities.

Dan Baron kindly sent us this picture on 7th September 2017, and he wrote: 'I attach three photos of our intervention on the 43k of rocks threatened to be destroyed to make way for huge cargo ships, from the final day of the forum, and three clips (from many) in solidarity with the Amazon. Feel free to use them as you wish'.


• Alerta popular pela proteção do bem viver no Pedral do Lourenção, 7th September 2017, photos sent by Dan Baron


• See on the left photo the Pedral do Lourenção rocks are part of the Central Brazilian Plateau, an upland area formed one billion years ago of hard crystalline old rocks. See 'Pedral do Lourenção: Para IBAMA, ainda é preciso complementar estudos ambientais', por Redação, Correio de Carajas, 17 de setembro de 2019
• See on the left photo a larger poster on the wall in the Tauiry fishing village


• Please click on the photos above on the left or here to see all 38 photos of our journey to the fishing community on the island in the Tocantins river. We could not see the Pedral do Lourenção rocks, because the water level of the river is now artificially controlled and the rocks are submerged. We saw only one little peak looking out from the water. Please cick on the photo on the right or here to see a short video of our return journey in the afternoon, first on the river and later on the road.

Pará is double the size of Western Europe and it is normal for a land owner to own half a million cattle. Pará has a sad reputation for its hired gunmen.


'Revealed: Rampant Deforestation of Amazon Driven by Global Greed for Meat', by Dom Phillips and Daniel Camargos in São Félix do Xingu, Andre Campos in São Paulo, and Andrew Wasley and Alexandra Heal in London, The Guardian, 2nd July 2019. See also: 'Revealed: How the Global Beef Trade Is Destroying the Amazon', by Andrew Wasley, Alexandra Heal, Dom Phillips, Daniel Camargos, Mie Lainio, André Campos, Diego Junqueira, Bureau of Investigative Journalism, 2nd July 2019.

Vila Praia Alta on the Ilha de Praia Alta, an island in the river Tocantins two hours by car and boat Marabá in the Amazonian State of Pará, the first community we had the privilege of meeting this day



• Please click on the photos above or here to see all 90 photos of the time Gaby and Evelin had the privilege of being welcomed in Vila Praia

These were the vides we made in Vila Praia Alta:
08 The Babaçu Palm and Its Beetle Larva Gongo in Vila Praia Alta on Ilha do Praia Alta in the river Tocantins near Marabá in the Amazonian State of Pará, Brasil
09 Tapioca in Vila Praia Alta
10 Urucum in Vila Praia Alta
11 The World Dignity University Initiative in Vila Praia Alta
12 Manoel de Deus Gomes da Silva in Vila Praia Alta
13 Leaving Praia Alta island by boat and at the end of the day back to Marabá by car

Gaby and Evelin were deeply impressed by the sustainability of the ways of living we encountered here. We saw almost no plastic, almost no waste, everything was used. Here, animals have a life, rather than being 'produced'. A rooster crows in the morning, indicating that animals are allowed to have a family, to have a social life in their own right, rather than being reduced to servants of human needs – being used as pets at best (to help placate the loneliness and disconnection in societies of excessive individualism), or consumed as food. The kitchen is outside of the house under an umbrella! And the shell of the babaçu nuts serve as charcoal!

Please click here or on the photo to see a brief video where Evelin explains the relevance of communities like Vila Praia Alta for the idea of the World Dignity University Initiative.

Please click here or on the photo to see the video with Manoel de Deus Gomes da Silva. Manoel de Deus Gomes da Silva, membro da comunidade ribeirinha Vila Praia Alta, fala sobre a importância da preservação da herança cultural das comunidades tradicionais da região do Rio Tocantins em que se pretende construir uma Hidrovia que impactará o rio, a fauna, a flora e a produção sustentável pesqueira e extrativista na região. Manoel de Deus Gomes da Silva, a member of the Vila Praia Alta community on Ilha Praia Alta, an island in the river Tocantins in the Amazonian State of Pará in Brasil, talks about the importance of preserving the cultural heritage of the traditional communities of the Tocantins River region in which it is intended to build a waterway that will impact the river, fauna, flora and sustainable fishery and permaculture production in the region.

This is the famous beetle larva gongo! Please see a little video recording! Please click on the photos or here to see all 90 photos of the Vila Praia Alta fishing community that welcomed Gaby and Evelin to listen and learn. Here you see gongo larvae inside the babaçu palm and its fruits. The coconut bug (Pachymerus nucleorum) is a beetle larva of the Bruquidae family. It has wide Brazilian distribution, which develops inside the fruit of several palm trees, such as babassu, coconut, carnauba, among others. He is also known by the names of gong, Coró and morotó. Pachymerus nucleorum settles inside fruits, which is also known as the 'larva of the coconut' (translated from the Portuguese Wikipedia site; the photos above in the middle are taken from another site). Here, we found it in the babaçu (Attalea speciosa) palm, or cusi, a palm native to the Amazon Rainforest region. The babassu palm is the predominant species in the Maranhão Babaçu forests of Maranhão and Piauí states. Even though Gaby and I live as much as possible vegan or vegetarian, we had to admit that the fried larvae were a delicacy! They are clean, full of protein...

Here, Gaby is wearing the urucum lip gloss! The original Tupi name for this fruit is uruku, urucu or urucum ('red color'), which is also used for the body paint prepared from its seeds. Achiote (Bixa orellana) is a shrub – also called the lipstick tree – native to a region between northern South America and Mexico. The seeds can be used to make red body paint and lipstick, as well as a spice. (Source of the second photo.) Please see a little video recording that Gaby made with her cell phone! Please click on the photos or here to see all 90 photos of the Vila Praia Alta fishing community.

Gaby loved this fruit, called 'marmelada fruit', Gaby's favourite! Thank you, dear Ronaldo, for explaining that its scientific name is Alibertia sessilis.

Embaúba is the name of this tree. The name originates from the tupi term ãba'ib, meaning 'hollow tree', 'árvore oca'. Old Tupi or classical Tupi is an extinct Tupian language which was spoken by the native Tupi people of Brasil, mostly those who inhabited coastal regions in South and Southeast Brasil. See cecropia. Please click on the photos or here to see all 90 photos of the Vila Praia Alta fishing community that welcomed Gaby and Evelin to listen and learn. 

The cashew tree (Anacardium occidentale) is a tropical evergreen tree that produces the cashew seed and the cashew apple. It can grow as high as 14 meters.... The species is native to Central America, the Caribbean Islands, and northern South America. Portuguese colonists in Brasil began exporting cashew nuts as early as the 1550s.... The cashew seed, often simply called a cashew, is widely consumed.... The cashew apple is a light reddish to yellow fruit. Please click on the photos or here to see all 90 photos of the Vila Praia Alta fishing community that welcomed Gaby and Evelin to listen and learn. 

Tapioca is a starch extracted from the storage roots of the cassava plant (Manihot esculenta). This species is native to the north region and central-west region of Brasil, but its use spread throughout South America. The plant was carried by Portuguese and Spanish explorers to most of the West Indies and Africa and Asia. It is a perennial shrub adapted to the hot conditions of tropical lowlands. Cassava copes better with poor soils than many other food plants.
See a brief video recording that Gaby made with her cell phone. Please click on the photo or here to see all 90 photos of the Vila Praia Alta fishing community that welcomed Gaby and Evelin to listen and learn. 

Pineapples (ananás) may be cultivated from the offset produced at the top of the fruit, possibly flowering in five to ten months and fruiting in the following six months... In 2016, Costa Rica, Brasil, and the Philippines accounted for nearly one-third of the world's production of pineapples. Please click on the photo or here to see all 90 photos of the Vila Praia Alta fishing community that welcomed Gaby and Evelin to listen and learn. 

   

Tauiry, a fishing community on the shores of the river Tocantins, the second community we had the privilege of meeting this day
These were the vides we made in Tauiry:
14 Rafael Cabral in Tauiry
15 Cristiane (Cris) Vieira da Cunha in Tauiry
16 Ronaldo Macena do Tauiry in Tauiry



• Please click on the photos above or here to see all 33 photos of the time Gaby and Evelin had the privilege of being welcomed in Tauiry to listen and learn.

A professora e pesquisadora da UNIFESSPA, Cristiane Vieira da Cunha, explica como o Projeto de Monitoramento Participativo auxilia comunidades ribeirinhas a compreender mais sobre suas atividades. A partir dos dados recolhidos pelos próprios pescadores, é possível compreender como grandes projetos como a Hidrovia do Rio Tocantins irão afetar não apenas seu modo de vida sustentável, mas também o próprio equilíbrio ecológico dos biomas amazônicos (Projeto ProPesca - com apoio da Universidade Federal do Sul e Sudeste do Pará - UNIFESSPA, da Embrapa e com o financiamento do Fundo Amazônia). Para maiores informações sobre o projeto, entrar em contato com: crisvieira_cunha@hotmail.com.
UNIFESSPA professor and researcher Cristiane Vieira da Cunha explains how the Participatory Monitoring Project helps riverside communities understand more about their own activities. From the data collected by fishermen, it is possible to understand how major projects, such as the Tocantins River Waterway, not only affect their sustainable way of life, but also the ecological balance of the Amazon biomes (ProPesca Project - with the support of the Federal University of South and Southeast Pará - UNIFESSPA, Embrapa, and the financing of the Amazon Fund).
For more information about the project send an email to: crisvieira_cunha@hotmail.com.
See a video recording that Gaby made with her cell phone. Please click on the photo or here to see all 32 photos of the Tauiry fishing community that welcomed Gaby and Evelin to listen and learn. 
Embrapa (Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária) is a state-owned Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation affiliated with the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture. Since its inception on 26th April 1973, it has been devoted to developing technologies, knowledge and technical-scientific information aimed at Brazilian agriculture, including livestock.

Rafael Cabral, membro da comunidade ribeirinha Vila Belém (Pará), fala sobre a importância da preservação da herança cultural das comunidades tradicionais da região do Rio Tocantins em que se pretende construir uma Hidrovia que impactará o rio, a fauna, a flora e a produção sustentável pesqueira e extrativista na região. Rafael faz um apelo aos doadores do Fundo Amazônia, em especial à Noruega, para que os projetos sustentáveis na região possam ter continuidade.
Rafael Cabral, a member of the Vila Belém riverside community (State of Pará), talks about the importance of preserving the cultural heritage of the traditional communities of the Tocantins River region in which it is intended to build a waterway that will impact the river, fauna, flora and sustainable fishery and permaculture production in the region. Rafael calls on Amazon Fund donors, especially Norway, to continue sustainable projects in the region.
See a brief video recording that Gaby made with her cell phone. Please click on the photo or here to see all 32 photos of the Tauiry fishing community that welcomed Gaby and Evelin to listen and learn. 

Ronaldo Macena, membro da comunidade ribeirinha Tauiry (Pará), fala sobre a importância da preservação da herança cultural das comunidades tradicionais da região do Rio Tocantins em que se pretende construir uma Hidrovia que impactará o rio, a fauna, a flora e a produção sustentável pesqueira e extrativista na região. Ronaldo faz um apelo aos doadores do Fundo Amazônia, em especial à Noruega, para que os projetos sustentáveis na região possam ter continuidade.
Ronaldo Macena, a member of the Tauiry riverside community (State of Pará), talks about the importance of preserving the cultural heritage of the traditional communities of the Tocantins River region in which it is intended to build a waterway that will impact the river, fauna, flora and sustainable fishery and permaculture production in the region. Ronaldo calls on Amazon Fund donors, especially Norway, to continue sustainable projects in the region. See a brief video recording that Gaby made with her cell phone. Please click on the photo or here to see all 32 photos of the Tauiry fishing community that welcomed Gaby and Evelin to listen and learn. 

Please meet Professor Paulo and his students and their Com-Vida project. He teaches in Itupiranga, near Tauiry. In a very skilled and sophisticated way, everyone in the group spoke, laying out their impressions, reflections, and conclusions. Clearly, the talking stick method was being used (without an actual stick), the well-known 'instrument of aboriginal democracy used by many communities around the world', ensuring that everyone is given space to speak.


These were the reflections Evelin tried to share with the fishermen that Gaby and I met near Marabá. They clearly had been told – and they felt guilty accordingly – for ‘standing in the way of progress’ because they wish to hold on to their familiar lifestyle, remain on their land and not be evicted by industrialisation. I tried to explain to them that THEY represent progress in its true form, and that it is rather the rest of the world that stands in the way of progress. The rest of the world ought to come to THEM and learn from THEM how to live as part of nature, instead of continuing with the illusion that humanity can be nature’s master. I tried to explain that they are the stark opposite of, for instance, coal miners, who actually do stand in the way of progress if they force coal mines to stay open with the argument that they wish to hold on to their familiar lifestyle...

Day Five, 1st September 2019

This was an all-day excursion under the mentorship of Claudelice dos Santos to the Assentamento (settlement) de Nova Ipixuna, site of murder of Zé Cláudio and Maria Silva, two forest activists and their living project


• Please meet Claudelice dos Santos!

These were the videos we made on this day:
17 The cross for Claudio and Maria
18 Evandra Vilacoert on fire containment
19 How Evandra Vilacoert's fire brigade contained fires
20 Michelliny Bentes on sustainable technologies to traditional communities
21 Daniel Mangas on sustainable technologies to traditional communities
22 Daniel Santiago and Anderson Schwamke on sustainable honey production
23 Chicken life in the Amazon


• Please click on the photos above or here to see all 39 photos of our journey to the Assentamento (Settlement) de Nova Ipixuna, ca. one and a half hours by car north of Marabá. Gabriela Saab and Evelin Lindner were privileged to have Claudelice dos Santos as our host, mediator, and mentor. Photo on the left: The first interesting sight we encountered was the unending train wagons transporting the riches of the Amazon out of it. We learned that this train was built for that purpose, not for transporting people. Photos on the right: The next surprise were the deep grooves in the asphalt of the road. The explanation: Big trucks cause them when they drive out from the Amazon heavily loaded (the trucks return empty). The road is almost unusable for normal cars, it seemed, and required very good driving skills. Evelin took these snapshots out of the car.


• Please click on the photo above on the left side to see a brief video that Gaby made of the place where Claudelice's brother Claudio and his wife Maria were assassinated by gun men in 2011 for speaking up against forest degradation. When Evelin was in Marabá in 2012, this was still fresh, and Claudelice was in deep grief and shock. See Claudio and Maria on the photo on the right, and see also 'The Death of Zé Cláudio and Maria: The Scene Is Like Something out of a Sergio Leone Movie. Zé Cláudio and His Wife, Maria, Enter a Small Wooden Bar Off a Dirt Road', by Felipe Milanez, Vice Media, 7th November 2011. See also Wikipedia: 'José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva (January 22, 1957 – May 24, 2011) was a Brazilian conservationist and environmentalist who campaigned against logging and clearcutting of trees in the Amazon Rainforest'.

Comunidades contra o fogo na Amazônia / Communities Against the Amazon Fires:
Evandra Vilacoert, gerente do Ideflor (Araguaia), explica o trabalho dos brigadistas comunitários no combate às queimadas e fala sobre a sua escolha de privilegiar os trabalhadores e o conhecimento locais como forma de promover a sustentabilidade.
Evandra Vilacoert, manager of Ideflor (Araguaia), explains the work of community brigade members in fighting fires and she talks about their choice to privilege local workers and knowledge as a way to promote sustainability.
See a video recording of her dialogue with Gaby Saab, invited and recorded by Evelin Lindner.

Comunidades contra o fogo na Amazônia / Communities Against the Amazon Fires:
Filmagens realizadas por brigadistas comunitários demonstrando seu trabalho no combate às queimadas (Ideflor/Araguaia). Os bombeiros e bombeiras fazem uso de técnicas locais e mais sustentáveis (menor uso de água) e salvam uma ave rara conhecida como Seriema.
Videos made by the community brigade members demonstrating their work in stopping the fires (Ideflor / Araguaia). Firefighters make use of more sustainable local techniques (less water use) and save a rare bird known as the Seriema.
Para maiores informaçoes sobre o trabalho dos brigadistas comunitários coordenados por Evandra Vilacoert, acesse aqui ou escreva para vilacoert@hotmail.com
For more information about the community brigade coordinated by Evandra Vilacoert, see here or send an email to vilacoert@hotmail.com.

Fundo Amazônia é vital para Comunidades Tradicionais Sustentáveis / The Amazon Fund is vital to sustainable traditional communities:
Michelliny Bentes explica como projeto da Embrapa em parceria com o Fundo Amazônia leva tecnologias sustentáveis a comunidades tradicionais na Amazônia. Michelliny Bentes explains how a project by Embrapa in partnership with the Amazon Fund brings sustainable technologies to traditional communities in the Amazon.
Please click on the photo on the left to see a video recording of her dialogue with Gaby Saab, recorded by Daniel Mangas. Please click on the photo on the right or here to see all 13 photos of the recording session.
Embrapa (Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária) is a state-owned Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation affiliated with the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture. Since its inception on 26th April 1973, it has been devoted to developing technologies, knowledge and technical-scientific information aimed at Brazilian agriculture, including livestock.

Fundo Amazônia é vital para Comunidades Tradicionais Sustentáveis / Amazon Fund is vital to sustainable traditional communities:
Daniel Mangas explica como projeto da Embrapa em parceria com o Fundo Amazônia leva tecnologias sustentáveis a comunidades tradicionais na Amazônia. Daniel Mangas explains how a project by Embrapa in partnership with the Amazon Fund brings sustainable technologies to traditional communities in the Amazon. The Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa - Portuguese: Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária) is a state-owned research corporation affiliated with the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture. Since its inception on 26th April 1973, it has been devoted to developing technologies, knowledge and technical-scientific information aimed at Brazilian agriculture, including livestock.
Please click on the photo on the left to see a video recording of his dialogue with Gaby Saab, recorded by Anderson Schwamke. Please click on the photo on the right or here to see all 13 photos of the recording session.
Embrapa (Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária) is a state-owned Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation affiliated with the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture. Since its inception on 26th April 1973, it has been devoted to developing technologies, knowledge and technical-scientific information aimed at Brazilian agriculture, including livestock.

Fundo Amazônia possibilita a aprendizagem da produção do mel por agroextrativistas sustentáveis / Amazon Fund enables sustainable horticulturers to learn about the honey production: Daniel Santiago e Anderson Schwamke explicam o projeto da Embrapa em parceria com o Fundo Amazônia que leva tecnologias sustentáveis a comunidades tradicionais na Amazônia. Daniel Santiago and Anderson Schwamke explain how a project by Embrapa in partnership with the Amazon Fund brings sustainable technologies to traditional communities in the Amazon. Please click on the photo on the left to see a video recording of their dialogue with Gaby Saab, recorded by Daniel Mangas. Please click on the photo on the right or here to see all 13 photos of the recording session.
Embrapa (Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária) is a state-owned Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation affiliated with the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture. Since its inception on 26th April 1973, it has been devoted to developing technologies, knowledge and technical-scientific information aimed at Brazilian agriculture, including livestock.

Here, animals have a life, rather than being 'produced'. A rooster crows in the morning, indicating that animals are allowed to have a family, to have a social life in their own right, rather than being reduced to servants of human needs – being used as pets at best (to help placate the loneliness and disconnection in societies of excessive individualism), or consumed as food. Evelin made this little video, fondly remembering the rooster's wake up call in the morning in her childhood on a traditional farm in Germany. Villages in Germany are silent now. Industrial farming has vastly impoverished rural life and contributed to widespread sociocide and ecocide.


• Please click on the photos above or here to see all 29 photos of our wonderful learning and listening time in Nova Ipixuna. After a delicious lunch, Gaby and Evelin had the privilege of being invited to be part in yet another profoundly dignified and dignifying community gathering.

Gaby and Evelin were hugely impressed by the profoundly dignified and dignifying format of the community gatherings we had the privilege of being invited to. In a very skilled and sophisticated way, everyone was given the floor to speak, all participants laid out their impressions, reflections, and conclusions, one after the other. Clearly, the talking stick format was used (without an actual stick), the well-known 'instrument of aboriginal democracy used by many tribes', a method that ensures that everyone is given space to speak.


• We admired their cosmetic products – soap, oil, insect repellent, lotion – from Andiroba. Andiroba is native to the Amazon and is widely used by the indigenous populations of the northern region of Brasil.


The pictures above were shared by Dan Baron in 2012 as examples of how the exploitation of the Amazon is being 'sanitised' and depicted as being 'good for the people and the environment', in advertisements by the big corporations. This is the text: 'Belo Monte Dam Banco da Amazônia – Movimentando a Amazônia: E a sua vida: FNO: crédito para transformar a sua vida e a Amazônia. Banco da Amazônia' ('Moving Amazon: And your life: FNO (Fundo Constitucional de Financiamento do Norte/Constitutional Financing Fund of the North: credit to transform your life and the Amazon').


Indeed, life has been transformed in the Amazon. We saw the signs of 'destruction for the sake of modernity' everywhere: hydro dams for the production of electricity that does not support sustainable living but feeds an exploitative industrialisation, and forest degradation for the sake of cows for the hunger for meat and profit for a privileged few.
• Please click here to see all 42 photos of our way back from Nova Ipixuna to Marabá.


• The day ended with an interview with Claudelice dos Santos in the park back in Marabá.

Day Six, 2nd September 2019

This happened in Belém while Gabriela and Evelin still were in Marabá preparing to travel from Marabá to Belém next day:
Brasil's president Jair Bolsonaro ordered his ministers to meet with the governors of the Amazonian states on 2nd September 2019 in Belém and send a package of new measures to Congress. In that meeting, five Amazon governors and ministers met. Among those attending were Minister of Agriculture Tereza Cristina (a ruralist with large agricultural holdings) and Minister of Defense Fernando Azevedo.


See State Governors Support Bolsonaro’s Amazon Mining, Agribusiness Plans', by Jenny Gonzales, Mongabay, 9th September 2019.
Mongabay is a U.S.-based non-profit conservation and environmental science news platform.

A wonderful meeting with Cristiane Vieira da Cunha in Marabá


• Please click here to see all 14 photos of this day in Marabá. We have a wonderful morning with Cris, Cristiane Vieira da Cunha!

Waving good-bye good-bye to the AfroRaiz group


• Please click here to see all 14 photos of this day in Marabá. Here, we are waving good-bye to Dan, Mano and the AfroRaiz group, who is leaving for their two months long tour of Europe (Austria, Poland, Germany, Belgium)

One of the riches of the Amazon: Açaí!


• Please click here to see all 14 photos of this day in Marabá. Here you see Gaby and Evelin with blue tongues from too much Açaí icecream!

Sending a thank-you to South Africa

  • Please click here to see all 14 photos of this day in Marabá. Here Evelin is sending thanks to Catherine Odora Hoppers, who gave her this special T-shirt in Pretoria in 2013! Thank you, dear Catherine!

Day Seven, 3rd September 2019

A wonderful meeting with Claudelice dos Santos

• Please click on the photo above or here to see it larger.

Leaving for Belém


• Please click on the photos above or here to see all 57 photos of the flight from Marabá to Belém. Gaby and Evelin attempt to take the overland bus whenever possible and try to avoid flying as much as possible. On this flight, several other human behaviours were visible that are destructive for the environment: 1. clean 'bio-water' is being served, however, in plastic that is not 'clean', 2. from the air it is very visible how the degradation of the Rainforest starts with roads and small patches that are cleared for agribusiness.

Our dear Gaby had to leave us here, she had to proceed to São Paulo. Thank you, dear Gaby! What would we have done without YOU!!! We are in deep gratitude!


• Please click on the photo above or here to see all 8 photos of the little shop in the airport of Belém that gave a good overview over the riches of the Amazon. You see Gaby on the picture above in front of a variety of 'bombons' (fruit in chocolate). These are the different fruits:

Cupuaçu (Theobroma grandiflorum), commonly known as cupuaçu, also spelled cupuassu, cupuazú, cupu assu, or copoasu, is a tropical rainforest tree related to cacao. Common throughout the Amazon basin, it is cultivated in the jungles of Colombia, Bolivia and Peru and in the north of Brasil, with the largest production in Pará. The pulp of the cupuaçu fruit is consumed throughout Central and South America, is the national fruit of Brasil, and is used to make ice creams, snack bars, and other products.

The açaí palm, from Tupi-Guarani asaí, Euterpe oleracea, is a species of palm tree (Arecaceae) cultivated for its fruit (açaí berries, or simply açaí), hearts of palm (a vegetable), leaves, and trunk wood. Global demand for the fruit expanded rapidly in the 21st century and so the tree is cultivated for that purpose primarily. The species is native to Brasil, Peru, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago, mainly in swamps and floodplains. Açaí palms are tall, slender trees growing to more than 25 m (82 ft) tall, with pinnate leaves up to 3 m (9.8 ft) long. The fruit is small, round, and black-purple in color. The fruit became a staple food in floodplain areas around the 18th century, but its consumption in urban areas and recognition as a health food only began in the mid 1990s along with the popularisation of other Amazonian fruits outside the region.

Paraense (cacao, Theobroma cacao), also called the cacao tree and the cocoa tree, is a small (4–8 m (13–26 ft) tall) evergreen tree in the family Malvaceae, native to the deep tropical regions of the Americas. Its seeds, cocoa beans, are used to make chocolate liquor, cocoa solids, cocoa butter and chocolate.

The brigadeiro is a traditional Brazilian dessert, created by a confectioner from Rio de Janeiro, Heloisa Nabuco de Oliveira. It is made of condensed milk, cocoa powder, butter, and chocolate sprinkles covering the outside layer.

Tapereba (Spondias mombin, or hog plum), also known as yellow mombin or hog plum is a species a tree and flowering plant in the family Anacardiaceae. It is native to the tropical Americas, including the West Indies. The tree was introduced by the Portuguese in South Asia in the beginning of the XVII century. It has been naturalised in parts of Africa, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, The Bahamas, Indonesia, and other Caribbean islands. It is rarely cultivated except in parts of the Brazilian Northeast.

Muruci (Byrsonima crassifolia) is a species of flowering plant bearing fruit in the acerola family, Malpighiaceae, that is native to tropical America. Common names include changunga, muruci, murici, nanche, nance, nancite, chacunga, craboo, kraabu, savanna serrette (or savanna serret) and golden spoon. In Jamaica it is called hogberry (plural hogberries). It's valued for its small (between one, and one and a quarter centimeter in diameter) round, sweet yellow fruit which is strongly scented. The fruits have a very pungent and distinct flavour and smell. The taste is not comparable to any other fruit.

Bacuri (Platonia Platonia insignis), the sole species of the genus Platonia, is a tree of the family Clusiaceae native to South America in the humid forests of Brasil, Paraguay, parts of Colombia and northeast to Guyana; specially in Amazon Rainforest. Common names include bacuri (and numerous variant spellings thereof; bacurí, bacury, bakuri, pacuri, pakuri, pakouri, packoeri, pakoeri), maniballi, naranjillo and bacurizeiro. There was a degree of nomenclatural confusion, caused by Moronobea esculenta. If that were validly published for this species the current name would be Platonia esculenta. It was established that Moronobea esculenta is not a formal name (not "validly published"), so the name remains Platonia insignis.

Castanha do Pará The Brasil nut (Bertholletia excelsa) is a South American tree in the family Lecythidaceae, and also the name of the tree's commercially harvested edible seeds. Despite their name, the most significant exporter of Brasil nuts is not Brasil but Bolivia, where they are called castañas de Brasil, nuez de Brasil or castañas de Pando ('chestnuts from Pando'). In Brasil, these nuts are called castanhas-do-pará (literally 'chestnuts from Pará'), but Acreans call them castanhas-do-acre instead. Indigenous names include juvia in the Orinoco area. In Cuba, the nut is alternatively called coquito de Santiago, literally St. James coconut.

 

Belém: Gateway to the riches of the Amazon



• Please click on the photos above or here to see all photos of the little shop in the airport of Belém that gives a good overview over the riches of the Amazon. Fortunately, not everything is in plastic bottles, there are also some glass containers, for example, with Jambu, and with Pimenta de cheiro:

Jambu, or acmella oleracea is a species of flowering herb in the family Asteraceae. Common names include toothache plant, paracress, Sichuan buttons, buzz buttons, tingflowers and electric daisy. Its native distribution is unclear, but it is likely derived from a Brazilian Acmella species. It is grown as an ornamental and attracts fireflies when in bloom. It is used as a medicinal remedy in various parts of the world. A small, erect plant, it grows quickly and bears gold and red inflorescences. It is frost-sensitive but perennial in warmer climates.

Pimenta de cheiro: No Brasil, existe a variedade conhecida popularmente como pimenta-murupi, cultivada nos estados do Amazonas e Pará. É uma pimenta pequena, amarela, dividida em gomos e com formato alongado. É a pimenta brasileira mais forte.. Os cultivares da C. chinense são ainda conhecidas no Brasil como pimenta de cheiro e pimenta de bode (bodinha em algumas regiões), consideradas variedades botânicas ou um dos grupos varietais, com características de frutos bem definidas. Engilsh (Google translator): In Brasil, there is the variety popularly known as murupi pepper, cultivated in the states of Amazonas and Pará. It is a small, yellow pepper, divided into buds and with an elongated shape. It is the strongest Brazilian pepper. C. chinense cultivars are still known in Brasil as sweet pepper and goat pepper (bodinha in some regions), considered botanical varieties or one of the varietal groups, with well-defined fruit characteristics.

 

Sandro Ruggeri Dulcet


• Please click on the photo above to see it larger. Sandro Ruggeri Dulcet was brought to us by Dan Baron, and he became our wonderful host and mentor in Belém. On the website of his Instituto Humana there is a description of the values that guide his work: 'The values that inspire us ... are dedication and enthusiasm at work, organisation, transparency, care, and rational use in the treatment of available human and material resources'.

Kamolrat Intaratat and her colleague Piyachat came all the way from Thailand to the Amazon


• Please click on the photo above to see it larger. Our dear Kjell Skyllstad brought Kamolrat Intaratat to us. She travelled for 42 hours, together with her colleagues Piyachat, all the way from Bangkok to the Amazon. They would have liked to come for the first part of the conference in Marabá, but due to limitations from their university, they could only come from the 3rd until the 7th of September. Kamolrat is the director and founder of the Research Center of Communication and Development Knowledge Management (CCDKM) at the Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University (STOU) in Nonthaburi, in the northern outskirts of Bangkok in Thailand. She is also the Chair of the Communication Arts for ASEAN International Program (Master Degree Program).


• Please click on the photos above or here to see all 10 photos of our first meeting in the Belém part of our conference. You see Kamolrat, Sandro, Gaby (soon to leave us), Piyachat and Evelin. In the lobby of the hotel, where we met, there was a big cow...


• Please click on the photos above to see them larger. Sandro brought us to the famous Cathedral of Belém, Our Lady of Grace Cathedral. On the second Sunday in October, Pará celebrates the largest religious event in Brasil: the procession of the Círio of Nazaré (picture in the middle).


• Please click on the photos of the Forte do Castelo de Belém above to see them larger.

Day Eight, 4th September 2019

We started the day at the Universidade Federal do Pará, UFPA, the Federal University of Pará (Portuguese: Universidade Federal do Pará, UFPA)



• Please click on the photos above or here to see all 20 photos of our visit to the Federal University of Pará (UFPA). Briefly, we dropped in at the 42º Congresso Brasileiro de Ciências da Comunicação 'Fluxos comunicacionais e crise da democracia' / 42nd Brazilian Congress of Communication Sciences 'Communication flows and crisis of democracy'. We were very impressed by the posters a group of young students had created.

On our way to Ilha Mosqueira with Sandro Ruggeri Dulcet

Mosqueiro is an island near the south bank of the Pará River in the Amazonian State of Pará. 'Since July 6, 1989, the northwest coast of the island has comprised an administrative district of the city of Belém, roughly 67 km (42 mi) north of the downtown area of the city. The island has 17 km (11 mi) of beaches with freshwater tides, which draw vacationers primarily in the dry season. The largest settlement on the island is the town of Vila (often referred to simply as Mosqueiro) on the westernmost part of the island'.


• Please click on the photos above or here to see all 95 photos of our journey to the Instituto Humana on Mosqueiro Island. We witnessed a strike of motocycle taxi drivers (see the photo on the left side). We saw one of the beaches (see the photo on the right side), and many shops advertising açaí. Evelin Lindner's reflections on the houses alongside the road: 'How sad that houses look exactly alike all around the globe now: Boxes of concrete columns filled with bricks. If I had a magic wand, I would replace all these buildings over night with local architecture...'.

Visit to an organic farm, with Sandro Ruggeri Dulcet


• Please click on the photos above or here to see all 7 photos of the organic farm, Sandro brought us to.

The Instituto Humana of Sandro Ruggeri Dulcet, Directeur général at Humana Comunicação & Tradução, and Director at HUMANA COM & TRAD, Ilha de Mosqueiro, Belém, Pará, Amazon, Brasil

Have a look at two videos:
24 Instituto Humana, film by Sandro Ruggeri Dulcet
25 'Encontre e conecte! Please Meet and Connect!' Evelin Lindner's contribution



• Please click on the photos above or here to see all 12 photos offered to us by Sandro Ruggeri Dulcet to introduce his Instituto Humana to us. Please see the wonderful film that Sandro created about his work.



• Please click on the photos above or here to see all 29 photos of the wonderful time Kamolrat, Piyachat, and Evelin had in the Instituto Humana of Sandro Ruggeri Dulcet. Plese see the video-recording of Evelin Lindner's contribution to this conference titled 'Encontre e conecte! Please Meet and Connect!', and Kamolrat Intaratat's contribution (shared once more, and recorded, on 7th September).

Thank you, dear Sandro and Marlucia, for welcoming us in your paradise in the Amazon Rainforest, surrounded by wonderful vegetation, by monkeys, iguanas, birds, tucanos, parrots, and many other animals. As Marlucia, Sandro's wife, said (paraphrased): 'What makes this place a paradise is exactly what those people don't want to have who destroy it and burn it...'


Iguana is a genus of herbivorous lizards that are native to tropical areas of Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.

Toucans are members of the Neotropical near passerine bird family Ramphastidae. The Ramphastidae are most closely related to the American barbets. They are brightly marked and have large, often-colorful bills.

Day Nine, 5th September 2019, Amazon Day


These are the videos recorded on this day:
27 The Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi in Belém
28 The Kayapo people presented in the Museu Goeldi
29 The Amazon Day conference at the Museu Goeldi: Ima Celia Guimaraes Vieira
30 The Amazon Day conference at the Museu Goeldi: Marlucia Bonifácio Martins
31 The Amazon Day conference at the Museu Goeldi: Denny Moore
32 The Amazon Day conference at the Museu Goeldi: Closing dialogues
33 Interview with Marlucia Martins on the Amazon Day 2019
34 The Amazon Day at the Parliament of Pará State in Belém: Deputado Dirceu Ten Caten invited Evelin Lindner

The Instituto Humana of Sandro Ruggeri Dulcet in the Recanto da Preguiça / Lazy Sloth Corner


• Please click on the photos above or here to see all 7 photos of the wonderful time Kamolrat, Piyachat, and Evelin had in the Instituto Humana of Sandro Ruggeri Dulcet. The institute is located in the Recanto da Preguiça / Lazy Sloth Corner, the home of Sandro and his amazing wife Marlucia.

Sloths are arboreal mammals noted for slowness of movement and for spending most of their lives hanging upside down in the trees of the tropical rain forests of South America and Central America. The six species are in two families: two-toed sloths and three-toed sloths. Despite this traditional naming, all sloths actually have three toes on each rear limb, although two-toed sloths have two digits on each forelimb.


• Please click on the photos above or here to see all 4 photos of our journey to Belém in the early morning to avoid the rush hour. Evelin Lindner's reflections: If I had a magic wand, I would make all those ‘modern cities’ disappear over night and replace them with something more locally appriopriate. To me, this global style of high rise boxes is horrendously ugly and inhumane, its uniformity destroys the world’s diversity of traditional materials and styles, it rapes local landscapes, and it is unfeasible for most local climates. This global obsession with imitating the supposedy ‘wealthy’ parts of the world, to me, is one of the many expressions of systemic humiliation, of systemic ecocide and sociocide. Where is our local pride, I want to ask all those people who plan for such buildings. Please, forget about notions such as ‘developed world’, I want to beg everyone, because it is a short-sighted development built on unsustainable exploitation. The Amazon Rainforest is such a miraculously complex system, and people who know how to live within it sustainably, THEY are the ones who are truly developed...


• Please click on the photos above or here to see all 3 photos of Marlucia's breakfast in Belém. Brazilian tapioca is even better here in Belém than in Marabá! And the shy woman who came with her cooling bag to sell 'bombons', had something to offer that would make first class chefs around the world envious: her home-made bombons were much better than even those the fancy shop at Belém airport had to offer...


• Please click on the photos above or here to see all 13 photos of the streets of Belém. Evelin Lindner's reflections: 'Again, as everywhere else in the world, also here I see this global uniformity, high rise buildings that are supposed to impress with their "modernity" but elicit sadness and resignation. As everywhere else, they usually are already dilapidated when new, and the ubiquitous "cable salad" laughs at them. Where is the city I hope for? Where is the city that is truly future-oriented, that expresses dignified and dignifying unity in diversity, where is the city that nourishes, rather than be exploitative? The refugees from Venezuela standing at the side of the streets in Belém, with large hand-painted signs made from card-board saying "I am Venezuelan", they can speak to the horror, fear, and despair that befalls even the richest city in a matter of a few days when three things fail, when (1) electricity and (2) water are cut and (3) the shops are looted. This is what happened in the once 'wealthy' oil town of Maracaibo in March 2019'.

The Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi

• Please click on the photos above to see them larger. You see the Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi, a Brazilian research institution and museum located in the city of Belém. The institution has the mission of researching, cataloging and analysing the biological and sociocultural diversity of the Amazon Basin, contributing to its cultural memory and its regional development. It has also the aim of increasing public awareness of science in the Amazon by means of its museums, its botanical garden, its zoological park, etc. The Museum maintains a scientific research station in the high Amazon forest (Estação Científica Ferreira Penna), which was inaugurated in 1993, with 330 square kilometres (130 sq mi) in the Caxiuanã National Forest, municipality of Melgaço, Pará.
On the picture on the right above, you see Alexandre B. Bonaldo, head of the Department of Coordenação de Zoologia of the Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi, the 'boss' of ecologist Marlucia Bonifácio Martins.


• Please click on the photos above or here to see all 25 photos of the Museu Goeldi's efforts to make the significance of the Amazon Rainforest visible. You see an overview over the degradation of the forest, as well as over the deforestation, and you understand that it is impossible to replant the original forest, as it does not simply consist of trees, but is a complex system of plants and animals. On the picture on the right, you see the human-made plastic pollution exhibited.


• Please click on the photos above or here to see all 12 photos of the Kayapo exhibition in the Museu Goeldi. See also the video recording of the great explanations of our guide. The Kayapo people are indigenous peoples in Brasil who inhabit a vast area spreading across the states of Pará and Mato Grosso, south of the Amazon Basin and along Rio Xingu and its tributaries... They are one of the various subgroups of the great Mebêngôkre nation (people from the water’s source). The term "Kayapo" is used by neighbouring groups rather than the Kayapo themselves. They refer to outsiders as "Poanjos".

See this little video, where the wonderful guide in the Museu Goeldi explained that wasps and bees were very important for the Kayapo. Long time ago, there was a war between the humans and the insects. But the humans could not overcome the insects because the king beetle was too smart. (The king beetle is the Actaeon beetle, see it on the picture on the right above, one of the largest of all beetles, whose males can grow to be 131/2 centimeters long by 4 centimeters thick). Humans were finally victorious when they learned from the bees to organise a society, and from the wasps and their sting how to get weaponised: in this way, they could overcome the king beetle!
Then the guide explained the Kayapo theory of diseases: They perceive two kinds, first, diseases caused by spirits, which are not curable, and, second, simple discomforts, such as stomach ache, which can be cured by plants. They even had contraceptives!

Dia da Amazônia, mesa redonda 'Amazônia em chamas. Quais as consequências?'


• Please click above on the poster of the mesa redonda / round table on the Dia da Amazônia / the Amazon Day, titled 'Amazônia em chamas. Quais as consequências?' / 'The Amazon in flames. What are the consequences?' with Dra. Ima Vieira, Dr. Denny Moore, and Dra. Martins. Venue: Rocinha, in the Parque Zoobotânico of the Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi.

This was a spontaneously called conference, due to the emergency in the Amazon, with the following three speakers:

Dr. Ima Celia Guimaraes Vieira, Senior Researcher at the Department Coordenação de Botânica (CBO) at the Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi. See a video recording of her contribution to the Dia da Amazônia conference (sorry for the poor quality of Evelin Lindner's recording, as she filmed from an unfortunate angle).

Dr. Marlucia Bonifácio Martins, ecologist, Department of Coordenação de Zoologia of the Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi. See a video recording of her contribution to the Dia da Amazônia conference (sorry for the poor quality of Evelin Lindner's recording, as she filmed from an unfortunate angle).

Dr. Denny Moore (born 1944) is an American linguist, and anthropologist. He graduated from the University of Michigan, and from the City University of New York with a Ph.D. in Anthropology. He has worked for the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development, and is Coordinator of the Linguistics Division, Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi, Belem-Para, Brasil. He published a grammar of Gavião, a Brazilian Amazonian language. He is on the advisory board of the Center for Amazon Community Ecology.
See a video recording of his contribution to the Dia da Amazônia conference (sorry for the poor quality of Evelin Lindner's recording, as she filmed from an unfortunate angle).

Closing dialogues of the mesa redonda 'Amazônia em chamas. Quais as consequências?'
See a video recording (sorry for the poor quality of Evelin Lindner's recording, as she filmed from an unfortunate angle).

 

After the conference, Marlucia Martins was interviewed in the park of the museum, see the video:

• Please click on the photos above or here to see all photos of the interview with Marlucia Martins, and click here to see the video. On the photos on the right side, you see her produly sitting in front of the funders of the Museu Goeldi: Ernst Lohse, Andreas Goeldi, Rodolpho Rodrigues, Jacques Huber, Oscar Martins, Emília Snethlage, Abigayl Mattos, Emil Göldi, Anna Carreira. Lunch in the Resto do Parque


• Please click on the photos above or here to see all 13 photos of one of the best restaurants of Belém, Resto do Parque, and its surroundings. Thank you, dear Sandro and Marlucia, for bringing Kamolrat, Piyachat and Evelin to this lovely place!

On our way to the Palaco Cabanagem


• Please click on the photos above or here to see all 17 photos of our way through the streets of Belém to the Palaco Cabanagem, seat of the Legislative Assembly of the State of Pará (Portuguese: Assembleia Legislativa do Estado do Pará), the unicameral legislature of Pará State in Brasil. It has 41 state deputies elected by proportional representation. The first legislature began in 13th March 1885 in a palace where today is the Square Dom Pedro II (destroyed by a fire in 1959), and it was moved in 1960 to the Teatro da Paz and in 1970 to the current headquarters, the Palácio Cabanagem.

The Cabanagem (1835–1840) was a popular revolution and pro-separatist movement that occurred in the then-state of Grão-Pará, Empire of Brasil. Among the causes for this revolt were the extreme poverty of the Paraense people, oppression by the Empire of Brasil, and the political irrelevance to which the province was relegated after the independence of Brasil. The Cabanagem Memorial by Oscar Niemeyer commemorates the revolt. Translated from the Portuguese Wikipedia site: 'The Cabanagem Memorial, according to Niemeyer's conception, represents the heroic struggle of the Caban people, which was one of the most important movements in all of Brasil. The elevated ramp towards the firmament represents the grandeur of the popular revolt that came very close to achieving its objectives and the "fracture" alludes to the breakdown of the revolutionary process. But although it has been stifled, Cabanagem remains alive in the memory of the people, so the block continues to rise to infinity, symbolising that the essence, ideals and hot struggle remain latent in the country's history'.
Who knows, we may ask, perhaps this is why the governor of Pará did not agree with president Jair Bolsonaro in their August meeting?

 
The Amazon Day with Deputado Dirceu Ten Caten

Dirceu Ten Caten, now 29 years old, is a Congressman / Deputado in the Legislative Assembly of the State of Pará / Assembleia Legislativa do Estado do Pará ALEPA in Belém, the capital of the Amazonian State of Pará. He was introduced to our Human Dignity group by Dan Baron as a hopeful future presidental candidate for Brasil, as someone who can merge social justice with ecological sustainability. Dirceu Ten Caten was born in Marabá in 1989, graduated in law from CESUPA - Centro Universitário do Pará, and is a post-graduate in Public Law from LFG and in Public Policy Management from Unicamp / SP (Universidade Estadual de Campinas / The University of Campinas, commonly called Unicamp, is a public research university in the state of São Paulo, consistently ranked among the top universities in Brasil and Latin America). He started his activism in politics at the age of 14 in a youth ministry in Marabá, with 15 he was a regional coordinator of PSCB (Socialist Cabocla Youth of Pará), in 2012 he founded Cajum (Youth House of Marabá), an NGO of vocational training for youth in the municipality and region. Read more about him on the site of the parliament, on Facebook, or on the site of the Labour Party. See also (translated from Portuguese): 'In 2014, Deputy Dirceu was elected with almost 33,000 votes of confidence and re-elected in 2018 with 59,600 votes in 140 municipalities in Pará. After the two elections, Dirceu made a point of returning to the municipalities to thank them for each vote obtained in the state elections. After two years in office, Dirceu visited all the municipalities under the Bote fé mandate ('have faith') to render public accountability of his work, providing the population with full transparency of his actions in the state parliament and a de facto democratic and participatory mandate'.


• Please click on the photos above or here to see all 13 photos of the Dia da Amazônia event with Deputado Dirceu Ten Caten. Dirceu Ten Caten kindly invited Evelin Lindner to speak, and Sandro Ruggeri translated. Congratulations, dear Dirceu, for your future-oriented vision, where you bring together concern for the environment with concern for the weak in society!

Please cilck on the left side to see the official video recording of the entire event of almost three hours on Facebook in large format (or cell phone format).
Please click on the right side to see the section that Evelin Lindner edited out from the large recording. Sandro Ruggeri Dulcet was the translator. Evelin tried to make the same point as in the City Hall of Marabá on 28th August: The Amazon has a form of wealth that those parts of the world that are called 'wealthy' have lost, namely, the knowledge to live sustainably in complex systems such as the Rainforest. Therefore: 'What is progress? What is a 'developed' country? What is 'wealth'?

Evelin reported that many people in the West are oblivious of the fact that their governments create problems with their right hand that the same government then laments by wringing its left hand when the damage becomes visible. In other words, on one side, governments fire up under exploitation, for instance, through making trade agreements with inappropriate conditions, and then they are surprised by the damage that unfolds, and, on top of that, they expect that the victims will solve the problem. This is double humiliation... A much more holistic approach is needed! See, among others, This was the situation in the Amazon, seen from Europe in July 2019: 'Brasil Continues to Destroy the Rainforest – But Resistance Is Growing' (Pdf) is an article that was published in Germany in July 2019, explaining how the forest is cut and telling the story of a small indigenous group who vows to resist. It does not mention European drivers of this destruction, such as the EU-Mercosur agreement. The article misleads the European reader to believe that the problem can be solved within Brasil. The European reader remains unaware that European interests work as an amplifier of the problem. Indeed, the problem did not get smaller after July, on the contrary, it got much worse, as fires were started everywhere on 10th August.
'Global NGOs: Dirty Dozen Companies Driving Deforestation Must Act Now to Stop the Burning of the World's Forests', Amazon Watch, 30th August 2019: Groups call for the immediate suspension of all business and financing with traders active in the Brazilian Amazon: 'The Amazon is on fire. Corporations share the blame. They need to become part of the solution'.


In the evening, through the centre of Belém

• Please click on the photos above or here to see all 5 photos of the centre of Belém

Day Ten, 6th September 2019

This was an all-day excursion to the island of Combú across the river Guarná from Belém
These were the videos we made on this day:
35 On the way to Combú island
36 Flavia of the Saldosa Maloca restaurant on Combú island
37 Aline Voos on Combú island explaining Andiroba
38 Evelin Lindner on Combú island
39 Vitor Nascimento explains the 'Street River' graffiti project Ilha do Combú, the island of Combú, leaving Belém behind!


• Please click here to see the pictures above larger. Combú island is 15 minutes by boat across the Guamá river from Belém. It was almost unreal for us to keep in mind that the Amazon Rainforest was burning further southwest while we enjoyed the unbelievable beauty and richness of the Amazon Rainforest here. Our sadness increased at the fact that there are people out there who strive to destroy these riches so that a few can increase their profit margin.

Vitor Nascimento was our wonderful host and mentor


• Please click on the photos above or here to see all 93 photos of the boat journey to the island of Combú that Kamolrat Intaratat and Piyachat from Thailand undertook together with Evelin Lindner, under the guidance and mentorship of Vitor Nascimento. Please see also the small video we made of our journey.
Vitor is 29 years old and knows everyone on Combú island. He apologised that he is not a professional tourist guide, and we whole-heartedly thanked him for not being a professional guide. We told him that some members of our network had just been in Alaska and had been disgusted by the fakeness of the tourist guides there, how they faked authenticity with the aim to entertain the tourists. We told Vitor about the toxic ‘touristification’ of many places of beauty around the world. We told him that we do not believe in the kind of tourism where privileged people treat locals like in a zoo and nature like a leisure park. We told him that we believe in equal dignity of all people and how honoured and privileged we feel to meet him. We told him that we want to be with him as a fellow human being and friend, rather than treat him as a provider of services to customers. The last thing we want is to be ‘customers’, ‘clients’, or ‘tourists’, the last thing we want is to ‘consume’ his kindness as if it were a thing. This, for us, would be utter humiliation, humiliation of him and of us.


• Please click on the photos above or here to see all 21 photos of the chocolate atelier on the island of Combú, where we were impressed by the many signs of ecological awareness. What a great architecture! Why do not all new housing projects in Belém take their inspiration here?

The Saldosa Maloca restaurant



• Please click on the photos above or here to see all 38 photos of the Saldosa Maloca restaurant on the island of Combú. Admire the beautiful architecture, the organic herb garden, the biogas plant, and the lovely baskets for the separation of waste! Please see also the small videos we made:

Evelins shared her reflections: Look at its architecture: local material is being used, and the result is immensely beautiful, in contrast to the concrete blocks in Belém. I hear sceptics counter: ‘But, with these local materials you cannot build high rise buildings!’ I know this debate only too well from my time in Egypt, a country that was blessed with a genial architect, Hassan Fathy, who had re-introduced the pharaonic architecture with lime stone and mudbrick. Sanaa in Yemen shows that this kind of architecture can create buildings that have several floors. Yet, this architecture is not what we see being realised. What we see, instead, are investors seeking opportunities, they get a piece of land, and a building with more floors will render more profit than a building with less floors. The investor will hire an architect who has some prototypes in the drawer of his office, which he will then multiply, so as to deliver a mass produced building or a mass-produced composite of buildings, so ugly and impersonal that not the investor himself nor the architect would ever voluntarily want to live in them themselves.

After admiring the beautiful architecture, the organic herb garden, the biogas plant, and the lovely baskets for the separation of waste, please see also the small videos we made:

Please watch the short video with Flavia Saldosa Maloca restaurant on Combú island.

This is Aline Voos, a visitor to Combú island, who kindly took it upon her to explain Andiroba to Evelin Lindner. Please watch the short video.

Ubuçu is a very common palm in the Brazilian Amazon being found on the banks of the floodplains mainly in the states of Amazonas, Pará, and Amapá. The stem of this palm reaches 3 to 5 meters high and 3 centimeters thick. The leaves reach 5 to 7 meters in length and they stay in the stem after they dry. People living along the river use its leaves to cover houses to protect them from the rain and the sun. The tough, flexible natural vegetable fibers that surround the fruits of the palm tree are what is called Tururi. These fibers are widely used in the making of crafts and fashion utilities. Before use, the fiber undergoes a softening process by washing in running water to remove impurities. Its natural colour is dark brown. See the Tururi that Evelin bought on the left side and a short video showing the palm tree and the leaves on the right side.

Please watch the short video, where Evelin Lindner tries to express her sadness about the fact that others strive to destroy these riches so that a few can increase their profit margin. Evelin is almost afraid to show this paradisiac place to the world in this video, because not only flames can destroy a place, mass tourism has turned out to be destructive, too.

The 'Street River' graffiti project


• Please click on the photos above or here to see all 10 photos of the 'Street River' graffiti project on the island of Combú.

Please watch this short video, where Vitor Nascimento explains the 'Street River' graffiti project, the first open-air art gallery within the Amazon. The 'Street River' project is a non-profit project that uses art as a transformation tool in a practical ways. It invited 10 artists from all over Brasil to portray riverside life in the Amazonian region together with the people living there and they recorded this in a documentary. See 'Arte & Design: A 1ª galeria de arte a céu aberto da Amazônia', Evandro Pimentel, Red Bull, 19 Julho 2017.

 

Day Eleven, 7th September 2019

Kamolrat Intaratat explained her work

• Please click on the photo or here to see the video where Kamolrat Intaratat explains her work with the Research Center of Communication and Development Knowledge Management. Our dear Kjell Skyllstad brought Kamolrat Intaratat to us. She travelled for 42 hours, together with her colleagues Piyachat, all the way from Bangkok to the Amazon. Kamolrat is the director and founder of the Research Center of Communication and Development Knowledge Management (CCDKM) at the Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University (STOU) in Nonthaburi, in the northern outskirts of Bangkok in Thailand. She is also the Chair of the Communication Arts for ASEAN International Program (Master Degree Program).

Post-conference experiences and reflections by Evelin Lindner

These were the two videos that Evelin Lindner made after the conference:
41 Praça da República in Belém
42 Mercado Ver-o-peso in Belém

Evelin Lindner explains: 'In our global dignity network, we create "circles of love gifts", meaning that people on one continent give small gifts for other members of our global fellowship on another continent. The giver and receiver are connected by email, so that these gifts become bridge-builders. When time is too short, Evelin sometimes also buys gifts (small unexpensive light-weight gifts). She avoids high-flying souvernir shops (in touristic places, many of the items are now mass-produced in China anyway) and looks for people who make things themselves. She also looks for household items that might be considered "normal" on one continent and are educational for people on another continent. She never just buys 'things', but attempts to forge relationships and to understand the source and use of the items in the lives of the local people. She asks for permission to take a picture or make a little video'.

Praça da República in Belém, 8th September 2019


• Please click on the photos above or here to see all 18 photos of the Praça da República in Belém. You can also see a brief video. On the left side you see the kind woman who gave me all her creative hair clips. In the middle you see Cheiro do Pará. On the right side you see a lovely woman with a feather hair dress. I was very happy to find some of the jewellery made of golden grass or capim dourado (Syngonanthus nitens) and buriti fibers (from the Moriche Palm) again, as signs of love from the Amazon for our network members in Europe and America. See the picture on the right from my time in the Amazon in 2012.

About the Praça da República, translated from the Portuguese Wikipedia site: 'At first it was Largo da Campina, a huge open land that was between the Campina neighborhood and the road that led to the chapel of Nossa Senhora de Nazaré. Then, in the eighteenth century, there was built a huge warehouse to store gunpowder, tracing its name to Largo da Póvora. A gallows has been erected, but there is no record of any hanging. What is known is that the space was used to bury, in a shallow grave, slaves and the poor... Today Praça da República becomes the ideal stage for major celebrations such as the Círio de Nazaré, Race Day and the September 7 parade. The other 362 days of the year make it the ideal place for family outings, evangelism, meeting friends or dating'.

The Ver-o-peso market in Belém, 9th September 2019


• Please click on the photos above to see it larger.

Wikipedia: Ver-o-peso market is a market hall in Belém, Brasil located at Guajará Bay riverside. It is called "Ver-o-Peso" following a colonial era tradition, since the tax collector's main post was located there, which was called "Casa do Haver-o-peso" ("Have-the-Weight House"). It was in the "Haver-o-peso house" that the taxes over goods brought from the Amazon forests, rivers and countryside should be paid to the Portuguese crown, but only after their weight was measured, hence the name, which later suffered a contraction. Nowadays, the Ver-o-peso complex contains the Açaí Fair, a free open market where açaí berry merchants sell the fruit in natura for açaí juice shops, the Clock Square, with an iron-cast clock tower brought from England, the Ver-o-peso docks, where native fishes from Amazon are unloaded from boats and sold fresh, the Iron Market, a gothic prefab structure where fish is sold, the Solar da Beira space, a colonial building where art expositions often take place, and the neoclassical Meat Market, across the street, with iron-cast stairs and cubicles. There's also the free market, where craftsmanship, natural essence parfums, typical food and native fruits are sold.


• Please click on the photos above or here to see all 42 photos of the Ver-o-peso market in Belém on 9th September. See also the video. There you see how this kind woman explains that cheiro do Pará is a mixture of Priprioca and Patchouli.

Cyperus articulatus is an aromatic species of sedge known by the common names jointed flatsedge and priprioca.

Patchouli is a species of plant from the family Lamiaceae, commonly called the 'mint' or 'deadnettle' family. The plant grows as a bushy herb, with erect stems reaching around 75 centimetres in height and bearing small, pale pink-white flowers. It is native to tropical regions of Asia, and is now extensively cultivated in China, Indonesia, Japan, Cambodia, Myanmar, India, Maldives, Malaysia, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar, Taiwan, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, South America and the Caribbean.

Crescentia cujete, commonly known as the Calabash Tree, is species of flowering plant that is native to Central, South America, West Indies and southern Florida. Cuia, cabaça, cabaço, coité, cuieté, cuietê, cuité and cuitê are the names given to the fruit of this tree in Portuguese.


• Please click on the photos above or here to see all 42 photos of the Ver-o-peso market in Belém on 9th September. See also the video. There you see how this kind man explains the kinds of woods he uses for his handicraft, for instance, he uses the raiz (root) of the Cumarú tree in front of which we stand in this picture. He writes the following list on a piece of paper for Evelin: Cortiça, Embauba, Cumarú, Miriji (?), Taboca:

Cortiça or cork is an impermeable buoyant material, the phellem layer of bark tissue that is harvested for commercial use primarily from Quercus suber (the cork oak), which is endemic to southwest Europe and northwest Africa. Cork is composed of suberin, a hydrophobic substance. Because of its impermeable, buoyant, elastic, and fire retardant properties, it is used in a variety of products, the most common of which is wine stoppers. The montado landscape of Portugal produces approximately half of cork harvested annually worldwide, with Corticeira Amorim being the leading company in the industry.

Embauba or Cecropia is a Neotropical genus consisting of 61 recognized species with a highly distinctive lineage of dioecious trees. The genus consists of pioneer trees in the more or less humid parts of the Neotropics, with the majority of the species being myrmecophytic. ... The genus is native to the American tropics, where it is one of the most recognizable components of the rainforest.

Cumarú or Dipteryx odorata is commonly known as 'cumaru' or 'kumaru' and is a species of flowering tree in the pea family, Fabaceae. The tree is native to Central America and northern South America. Its seeds are known as tonka beans (sometimes tonkin beans or tonquin beans). They are black and wrinkled and have a smooth, brown interior. They have a strong fragrance similar to sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum) due to their high content of coumarin.

Taboca or Guadua is a Neotropical genus of thorny, clumping bamboo in the grass family, ranging from moderate to very large species. Physically, Guadua angustifolia is noted for being the largest Neotropical bamboo. The genus is similar to Bambusa and is sometimes included in that genus. Several animals are, to a various extent, associated with stands of Guadua bamboo, for example several species of seedeaters, and the Amazon and Atlantic Bamboo Rats.


• Please click on the photos above or here to see all 42 photos of the Ver-o-peso market in Belém on 9th September. See also the video. There you meet Josema and can listen to his explanations of his work with the Pará nuts.

The Brasil nut tree (castanha-do-brasil, castanha-do-pará) is the only species in the monotypic genus Bertholletia. It is native to the Guianas, Venezuela, Brasil, eastern Colombia, eastern Peru, and eastern Bolivia. Brasil nut trees produce fruit almost exclusively in pristine forests, as disturbed forests lack the large-bodied bees of the genera Bombus, Centris, Epicharis, Eulaema, and Xylocopa which are the only ones capable of pollinating the tree's flowers, with different bee genera being the primary pollinators in different areas, and different times of year. Brasil nuts have been harvested from plantations, but production is low and is currently not economically viable.


• Please click on the photos above or here to see all 42 photos of the Ver-o-peso market in Belém on 9th September. See also the video. There you meet Miriam and you can listen to her explanations of the products of the Amazon.
Evelin was advised by locals that robbery even at gunpoint can happen also during day-time, and anywhere in the city, and she therefore exercised approprate caution. At the end of this video, you met Miriam, who kindly got Evelin an Uber (widely used both in Marabá and Belém) and waited with Evelin for the car to arrive in a safe place in front of a little police stand.

 


 

Dear Friend! Thanks!

We had a remarkable dignity conference in the Brazilian Amazon, both deeply touching and deeply troubling, due to the emergency situation in the Amazon. The conference was a 'Caravan' and was titled 'Cultivating Good Living Amazon: Nurturing Solidarity with Mother Earth'. I lack adequate words to express my appreciation, admiration, and deep gratitude to all those who made this conference possible!

Please see our general invitation for this conference sent out on 24th June 2019, and a personal invitation letter in English and in Brazilian Portuguese.

Please allow me to begin this newsletter by expressing my profound gratitude to the esteemed inspirers, hosts, conveners, and organisers of this conference, Dan Baron and Manoela Souza. They are the directors of the Transformance Institute: Culture & Education and its AfroRaiz Youth Collective of the 'Rios de Encontro' (Rivers of Meeting) project in the Community University of the Rivers in Marabá, Pará, Brasil. You get an impression of their work by watching this video: Rios de Encontro: Towards a Good Living Amazon (Flying River Tour).

Our gratitude goes also to Sandro Ruggeri Dulcet, who took over as convener of the second part of our conference in Belém. We so much thank Sandro and his wife Marlucia for their most generous hospitality! Furthermore, we highly appreciated the invitation of Congressman Dirceu Ten Caten to the Amazon Day.

Gaby Saab deserves loving acknowledgement for her extraordinary nurturing work, both in Marabá, and as host of the WhatsApp group that she inaugurated for this conference. Our first WhatsApp conference group! Thank-you so much, dear Gaby!

Our 33rd Annual HumanDHS Dignity Conference in Brasil was unlike any other we had before! The conference took place at the time when the Amazon had just been set on fire (starting for full on 10th August 2019) and everyone was in a state of anxiety, alarm, and emergency. Because of the environmental emergency, the conference didn't take place in a fixed location. Instead it unfolded as a 'caravan conference', where the conveners went to the participants to engage in dignity dialogues. This mobile methodology allowed our efforts to be responsive to the conditions on the ground, sometimes changing course from minute to minute. Thus it became a fluid conference, like a river that always finds it way. The participants began meeting on 28th August 2019 in Marabá, the 'gate to the industrialisation of the Amazon', and we concluded the conference in Belém, a place of immense cultural diversity, visionary history, and indigenous roots, on 7th September.

Not only the forest had been set on fire, also important institution were being set 'on fire' while we had our conference, albeit in a different way, such as the federal university of the city of Marabá that was scheduled to close down due to funding being cut. In this dire situation, we attempted to be as supportive as possible and carry out a caravan of dialogues in as dignified and dignifying ways as possible.
We had the great privilege of learning from the true experts of sustainable dignifying life, namely, those who know how to live with the rainforest, rather than against it — we admired the knowledge of a fishing community and a gardening community. We also had the privilege of speaking at the City Council of Marabá, we went to schools and the university (as it was still open for the last days). In Belém, we were honoured by being invited into the Legislative Assembly of the State of Pará on World Amazon Day on 5th September.

The main local conveners in Marabá were Dan Baron and Manoela Souza, who reside in Marabá, and Gabriela Saab from São Paulo, who was also the host of the WhatsApp group for the conference. In Belém, our local convener was Sandro Ruggeri. Evelin Lindner came from outside of Brasil.

This region of the Brazilian Amazon has the greatest biodiversity and concentration of iron ore and drinking water in the world. But it also has the world’s highest statistic for murdered activists and contains the most violent cities (genocide of black youth and extreme abuse of women), with the worst high school education in Brasil (Dan Baron, 10th January 2018).

We thank all participants for joining hands in making this caravan conference one of our most special and most memorable ones. Everyone participated by not only offering their particular personal perspectives, everyone also engaged in an enormously enriching process of co-creating new horizons of meaning for ourselves and for our societies, including world society.

Linda and I, we would like to invite everyone to contribute to this newsletter with your reflections (whatever you wish to share here, just send it to me so that I paste it in further down)! We invite comments, thoughts, and reflections both from the participants, and from those who were with us in spirit!

Please allow me to remind you that all our conferences are part of our ongoing relationship-building work (rather than 'stand-alone' events). We wish to nurture a global community of people who strive to bring more dignity into the world. Our 33st Annual Dignity Conference was yet another opportunity, unique in its intensity, one that deeply inspired also me personally. The diversity of backgrounds of our participants was remarkable: Brasil, Wales, Silesia-Germany-Norway-global (in the Amazon), and via WhatsApp Japan, Indonesia, India, Swaziland, South Africa, Ethopia, Morroco, Norway, Germany, Portugal, Spain, and U.S.A.. Many members in our global network share a biography of journeying, both geographically and with respect to their life paths and experiences. Many have experienced profound turning points in their lives, which often foster deep change.

As you have noticed, we strive to conduct our conferences in ways that are different to mainstream conferences. Our conferences are designed to transcend the 'guru' model of having one or two noted celebrities orchestrating the experience for the non-celebrities. We wish to avoid a top-down approach to organising. Rather, we strive to practice a ripple-out approach, cultivating mutually beneficial action that emphasises loving service (rather than servitude!). We strive to refrain from relegating 'administrative' work to secretaries or marginalised members of society. We invite universal responsibility, universal co-leadership, leadership that encourages everyone to step in and contribute according to their interests, abilities, and passions.

In traditional conferences, participants arrive with the tacit expectation to spend the day more or less isolated, either as presenters or listeners, and when the official day ends, they expect to dissipate to do 'their own thing'. The only time when everybody is drawn together officially, at least to a certain degree, is during what is called Q&A (questions and answers, rather than dialogue). Group-building is relegated to the coffee-pauses or friendships being nurtured privately on the sidelines. As a result, very often, there is a widespread sigh after conferences: 'I had to give a paper to get funding for the conference, but slept through the presentations of the others, only the coffee-breaks where really good, because I enjoyed meeting old friends'.

The most important aim of our conferences is to transcend this situtation and to make clear that the 'work' of building a dignity family is the most important feature of our conferences. Our participants are invited to take responsibility for this process also outside of the 'official' schedule. Linda and I personally see our main task in nurturing this social-psychological connectivity rather than in the administration or scheduling of our conferences, as important as also this is for a dignified conference. We wish to nurture a climate of togetherness in equal dignity, of holding hands as human beings among human beings (Ubuntu), who act together in a spirit of mutual responsibility for each other, and who engage in mutual learning and teaching. We aim for a style that manifests the fact that we are one single human family on one single tiny planet, and that we have to learn to act like a good family if we wish to survive as a species. In our work, we wish to stay clear of abusing this connectivity for ulterior purposes, be they ideological, religious, monetary, or else. This approach includes the entire conference, with its pauses and evenings.

Rather than organising time around 'presentations', we always strive to take a collaborative approach to planning our time together. We use the format of Dignilogues (Dignity + Dialogue), or conversations on topics proposed by participants, a format that we have adapted from the classical Open Space approach (see Harrison Owen on our Global Advisory Board). On the first day of our Dignilogue Workshop, we usually invite everyone to suggest a topic and to be a facilitator/leader for her or his dialogue session. Those participants who propose a topic, then describe it to the group. Then, collectively, we combine and prioritise ideas as needed to finalise the schedule for the rest of the conference. The Dignilogue process encourages us to meet in a spirit of mutual support, equal dignity, and flexibility, which enriches the conversations throughout our 'unconference' conferences.

We sometimes compare a 'formal conference' with a car without wheels, an 'informal conference' with a car without a motor, while our approach would represent a car that moves. We wish our conferences to manifest dignity, and therefore we invite all participants to move the conference forward together, holding hands as fellow human beings, rather than having a rigidly steered conference.

In sum, our caravan conference in the Amazon manifested our general aims more than any other conference. The Dignilogues we had in different locations represented the maximum of an 'unconference' conference: It was a co-created sharing of insights. Wherever we were invited to join local community conversations as part of our 'caravan' conference, we were impressed by the highly skilled and sophisticated ways in which everyone in the group spoke, laying out their impressions, reflections, and conclusions one after the other. Clearly, the talking stick format was used (without an actual stick), which is a well-known 'instrument of aboriginal democracy used by many tribes', ensuring that everyone is given space to speak'.

Let me now explain our solidarity economics approach (see also my book A Dignity Economy). All participants are usually gifting their time pro bono. Our work is a labour of love. Nobody is being paid or gains monetary advantages from our work. Our human dignity movement has a near zero budget. We refrain from going down the path of so many not-for-profit initiatives, which end up becoming 'profiteering non-profits'. We do whatever we can to refrain from building an 'empire' of our work. What we wish to do instead, is to nurture dignity, at all levels and in all details of our work. We wish to highlight our shared humanity on our home planet, rather than abusing social-psychological connectivity for 'empire building'.

There are no registration fees for our HumanDHS conferences (or our online sessions). By practicing a 'lean, green' spirit of shared responsibility, our HumanDHS community has conducted our events for more than a decade by assessing our expenses during the conference and inviting participants to contribute according to their ability (we also gladly welcome electronic contributions in support of our work). I myself live almost without money and do not receive monetary remunerations for my dignity work, which I consider to be a labour of love which I gift to our human family. In our conferences, we always attempt to find ways to cover the cost throughout the conference in the most dignified and dignifying ways. In this collaborative way, we are able to also honour those who contribute more in kind than in monetary ways.

Please join us therefore in thanking everyone for their contributions to this conference! We send our profound gratitude to every single participant and supporter for your generosity! You are beacons of dignity in this world!

Since all participants in our conferences are fully responsible for bearing the cost of their own travel, transportation, and accommodation arrangements, we always kindly ask local participants who reside in close proximity of the conference venue to lend a helping hand to those traveling from afar, which also helps us keep our events collaborative and affordable for all. Allow me to extend our warmest thanks to all those who reside locally and generously gave their support to our foreign participants!

A reason for sadness was that Linda Hartling and her husband Richard Slaven could not be with us in person, due to their family health situation. However, they were very very close in spirit, and without their daily support our conferences would not be possible. Thank you, dear Linda and Rick!

Please see a list of the videos that Linda Hartling created so as to be with us from afar:

Greetings:
•  Greetings from Portland, Oregon, America, 2018 (2 minutes)
•  Greetings from Portland, Oregon, America, prepared 2015 (7 minutes, and a Pdf from 2014)

Please see Introductory Videos created by Linda Hartling:
•  Dignilogue: An Introduction to Dignity + Dialogue, created on 31th May 2015 for our 2015 Kigali Conference
•  Greetings to All (short version), created on 16h April 2013 for our 2013 South Africa Conference
•  Greetings to All (long version), created on 16h April 2013 for our 2013 South Africa Conference
•  Welcome to Everybody, created on 12th August 2012 for our 2012 Norway Conference
•  Our Open Space Dignilogue Format, created on 12th August 2012 for our 2012 Norway Conference

•  Please see also the videos on our Appreciative Frame, created by Linda Hartling:
- Appreciative Enquiry 4, a video that was recorded on May 27, 2015, in Portland, Oregon, USA, by Linda Hartling, for the 25th Annual Conference of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies, in Kigali, Rwanda, 2nd - 5th June 2015.
- Our Appreciative Frame 3, a video created in December 2014 (see also Pdf), for the 2014 Workshop on Transforming Humiliation and Violent Conflict, in New York City, December 4–5, 2014.
- Appreciative Enquiry 2, a video that was uploaded onto YouTube on August 11, 2012, in preparation of the 19th Annual Conference of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies, 27th-30th August 2012, in Oslo, Norway.
- Appreciative Enquiry 1, a video that was recorded on October 30, 2011, in Portland, Oregon, USA, by Evelin Lindner, for the World Dignity University initiative.

We warmly welcome you to our future conferences. Your participation is of great importance. We are certain that your contribution will have enduring reverberations not only for your work, but also for our dignity network of scholars and practitioners working throughout the world.

Francisco Gomes de Matos, peace linguist from Recife, Brasil, co-founder of the World Dignity University initiative, kindly sent us a 'Communicative Dignity: A Checklist' from Recife, Brasil, where he concludes that 'dignity is more than a quality; it is the essence of our humanity'.

May we extend our very warmest thank-you to YOU ALL!
There are no words to express our appreciation for your amazing contributions!


Evelin & Linda, on behalf of our entire network, 2019

 


 

Reflections

Dignity Greetings shared by Michael Boyer with our WhatsApp group on 23rd August 2019


Michael Boyer kindly suggested a new greeting, a Dignity Greeting!
(Evelin Lindner uses the infinity symbol, or the Möbius Strip, or the lying number 8, ∞, to make the 'unity in diversity' principle visible, and to show how this can help us model the form of dialogue that truly manifests the human rights ideal of 'every human being is equal in dignity'.)


Experiences and reflections shared by Evelin Lindner

You may like to have a look at Evelin's picture page of 2019.

On 29th August, Gaby Saab and Evelin Lindner had a dialogue session with students and teachers of the Law of the Land at the Federal University of Southern and Southeastern Pará (UNIFESSPA), in Marabá.

Evelin had been asked to touch upon healing pedagogies and practices, resilience studies, social media for dignity. After Gaby's talk she therefore briefly shared with the audience that dignity basically cannot be defined theoretically,that it is embodied. One way to make it visible is by two people holding hands in the way the infinity symbol is formed.

Equal dignity in solidarity is manifested when both partners stay connected while looking into each other's eyes as equals. In this way, they demonstrate unity in diversity (this represents the philosophical notion of non-dualism). Loving solidarity is the strongest force there is.

When we look at societies around the world, however, we can observe two main toxic 'degradations' of this setup:
1. There is the sociocide – the destruction of the social fabric – that occurs in contexts of oppressive hierarchies and it can be demonstrated by one partner standing above the other. Oppressive hierarchies are kept in place by superiors humiliating inferiors, for example, men humiliate women and everything perceived as ‘female’, 'industrial/breadwinner masculinities' dominate, exploit, and mistreat also 'mother' nature. In this situation, many subordinates close their eyes in apathetic resignation, or they look up, either in subservient admiration or in fearful disgust. Some live in the hope or in the illusion that reaching out to superiors and offering them to kiss their hands will make them more caring, while others refuse to reach out to uncaring superordinates and others even contemplate mutiny and revolt. The result is a society characterised by:
1a. apathetic obedience,
1b. the 'Stockholm syndrome', or the identification with the oppressor,
1c. solidarity among those who unite in hatred against oppressors, often in blind obedience to messiah-like anti-leaders.
Conclusion: Noone exits from the top-down frame.

2. Then there is the sociocide inflicted by excessive individualism in Western societies. This can be showcased by both partners remaining equal, that is, both standing upright with their heads at the same height, yet, no longer holding hands but keeping a certain distance from each other or even raising their hands in hostility. Some clasp their hands in front of their chests in self-righteous solipsism, despising and humiliating everyone as lazy who can't buy goods and services with money, in other words, a sophisticated form of the 'Stockholm syndrome' with money as seemingly neutral confirmation of the legitimacy of the principle that only money-based contracts count, while nature or future generations represent insignificant externalities. Others throw their hands up in the air in despair and indignation at the lack of social connectivity and care in society, while yet others use their hands to lash out against scapegoats. The result is a society characterised by:
2a. anomie, isolation, loneliness,
2b. callousness,
2c. hatred.
Conclusion: Noone exits from the illusion of equality in a top-down frame.

At the end of this day, Evelin shared some more reflections with Gabriela:
First, when one is being humiliated, it is important to actually feel it (rather than bypass it or suppress it), while, at the same time, extending deep compassionate care to one's violated sense of self. The aim must be to avoid accepting humiliation, to avoid weakening oneself by turning humiliation into shame. Only then is one able to gauge the situation calmly, only then can one read the situation properly and duly prepare for what to do next.
Second: Lets not run from the bullets but also not into the bullets! The Jews of Vienna were being systematically humiliated by their Nazi abusers (old men were forced to go down on their knees and brush the streets of Vienna, even with toothbrushes). This humiliation was basically the first step on the path to a death sentence. Many of the Jews who were thus 'prepared' had no strength left when they faced death camps. Jews from Greece, in contrast, still had strength left when they arrived in Auschwitz on the train from Greece, and they openly revolted. As a result, they were shot on the spot by the SS men. In other words, both groups did not have a chance to achieve some kind of valid resistance: the first groupd had no strength left, the second no time.
Conclusion: Preserve your dignified sense of self and your strength, even in the face of humiliation, stay calm, so that you can form collectives, hide in solidarity, and plan appropriately. Use the strongest force there is as much as possible: loving solidarity. Nurture this solidarity within the group, avoid building in-group solidarity on out-group hatred, otherwise, you can never turn your 'enemies' into friends.


On 31st August, we undertook an all-day excursion to two fishing communities – the Vila Praia Alta community on the island Ilha Praia Alta in the river Tocantins, and to the Tauiry community on the shores of the river Tocantins – hosted and mentored by biologist and fishing monitor Cristiane (Cris) Vieira da Cunha. Gabriela Saab shared this with the WhatsApp group on 31st August 2019:
Dear Dignifriends, tonight I would like to introduce you to a fishing community called Tauiry, in Pará! There we had the opportunity to understand better and learn with these amazingly humble people. They are extremely dependent on the Tocantins River, which already have a big Dam an there is a project of a Waterway to export non-sustainable extractivism products! The project will not only affect more than 70% of their income but will also make some islands (like the one in the pictures below) completely disappear. All this without any sort of previous compensation so they can restart their lives somewhere else. And they received us with so many smiles and hugs we will NEVER forget! It is like we brought them hope just by listenning to them, but funny enough is their sustainable way of life and the way they are organizing themselves for their rights and the rights of the river what brought Us hope! As Evelin said, the world has to come to those places to learn with these people. They should not change! They are the hope!

On 31st August, we started in Marabá at 5 o'clock in the morning, first by car and then by boat. On the way, we took pictures from the car of one of the insidious problems that plagues the Amazon: the destruction of the Rainforest so that cows can graze, so that people can eat more meat (see the EU-Mercosur agreement), and the few landowners can amass more power... The problem are not small farmers. When Evelin Lindner was in Brasil in 2012, she inquired (see 2012 Digniventure reflections) and found the MIT Project Amazonia website showing that 0.8% of landlords possess 43% of the land, 53% of landowners (small peasants) own 2.7% of the land, while Multinationals own 36 million hectares of Brazilian territory. Pará is double the size of Western Europe and it is normal for a land owner to own half a million cattle. Pará has a sad reputation for its hired gunmen. See als: 'Revealed: Rampant Deforestation of Amazon Driven by Global Greed for Meat', by Dom Phillips and Daniel Camargos in São Félix do Xingu, Andre Campos in São Paulo, and Andrew Wasley and Alexandra Heal in London, The Guardian, 2nd July 2019: 'Investigation exposes how Brasil’s huge beef sector continues to threaten health of world’s largest Rainforest: "We must not barter the Amazon Rainforest for burgers and steaks" ... 'Because of the high volume of Brazilian beef shipped to China and Hong Kong, these markets are associated with the highest amount of deforestation in total – between 17,400 and 26,400 hectares per year – according to the analysis. The EU also imports more than $600m worth of beef from Brasil each year. And that will increase if the EU and member states approve a new trade deal with Brasil, Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay to gradually let 99,000 tonnes of low-tariff South American beef into Europe every year'. See, furthermore: 'Revealed: How the Global Beef Trade Is Destroying the Amazon', by Andrew Wasley, Alexandra Heal, Dom Phillips, Daniel Camargos, Mie Lainio, André Campos, Diego Junqueira, Bureau of Investigative Journalism, 2nd July 2019.

Upon arrival by car, we continued by boat to a fishing community on the Praia Alta island in the middle of the river Tocantins, passing the famous Pedral do Lourenção rocks (which we could not see, due to the artificially high water levels). Evelin Lindner's report: We learned that the water of the river is already so polluted that the people living on its shores can no longer drink it: they have to fetch it from another village which still has clean water. We saw a big installation in the river, and we were told that it is to extract diamonds – the local population, however, does not in any way benefit from this extraction – yet, this is only a small source of the pollution of the river. A hydro-electric dam has already been built in the north of Marabá, the Tucuruí dam, against the resistance of many people, and now the next step of this mega-project is being scheduled, namely, to turn the river into a navigable waterway for big ships – a hydrovia – to transport cattle, GM soya, and aluminium. Boulders that are a billion years old, in other words, billion years of eco-infrastructure, shall be removed to industrialise the river. The local population will no longer be able to use their small boats to go the city and to sell their own sustainable products. The water level is already now artificially controlled, so that the fishermen, whose calendar normally depends on the moon and who respect the periods in which fish is reproducing, now have their areas of reproduction and the level of the river dictated by this new 'hydrovia'.

Evelin's reflections at the end of this day: The fishermen that Gaby and I met felt guilty for standing 'in the way of progress' because they wished to remain on their land at the shore of Tocantins river and not be evicted by industrialisation. I tried to explain to them that THEY represent progress in its true form, and that the rest of the world stands in the way of progress. The rest of the world ought to come to them and learn from them how to live as part of nature. They are the opposite of coal miners who actually do stand in the way of progress if they force coal mines to stay open with the argument that they wish to hold on to their familiar lifestyle...

Gaby and Evelin were hugely impressed by the profoundly dignified and dignifying format of the community gatherings we had the privilege of being invited to. In a very skilled and sophisticated way, everyone was given the floor to speak, all participants laid out their impressions, reflections, and conclusions, one after the other. Clearly, the talking stick format was used (without an actual stick), the well-known 'instrument of aboriginal democracy used by many tribes', a method that ensures that everyone is given space to speak.

These are Evelin's reflections on the architecture in the region: 'How sad that houses look exactly alike all around the globe now: Boxes of concrete columns filled with bricks. If I had a magic wand, I would replace all these buildings over night with local architecture...'.

'If I had a magic wand, I would make all those "modern buildings" disappear over night and replace them with something more locally appriopriate. To me, this global style is horrendously ugly and inhumane, its uniformity destroys the global diversity of traditional materials and traditions, it rapes local landscapes, and it is unfeasible for most local climates. This global obsession with imitating the supposedy "wealthy" parts of the world is one of the many expressions of systemic humiliation, of systemic ecocide and sociocide. Where is your local pride, I want to ask the people who plan for such buildings? Please, forget about notions such as "developed world", because it is a short-sighted development built on unsustainable exploitation. The Amazon is a complex system, and people who know how to live with it sustainably, they are the ones who are truly developed...'.

'Again, as everywhere else in the world, also here I see this global uniformity, high rise buildings that are supposed to impress with their "modernity" but elicit sadness and resignation. As everywhere else, they usually are already dilapidated when new, and the ubiquitous "cable salad" laughs at them. Where is the city I hope for? Where is the city that is truly future-oriented, that expresses dignified and dignifying unity in diversity, where is the city that nourishes, rather than be exploitative? The refugees from Venezuela standing at the side of the streets in Belém, with large hand-painted signs made from card-board saying "I am Venezuelan", they can speak to the horror, fear, and despair that befalls even the richest city in a matter of a few days when three things fail, when (1) electricity and (2) water are cut and (3) the shops are looted. This is what happened in the once 'wealthy' oil town of Maracaibo in March 2019'.

Evelin Lindner's reflections on 5th September 2019: 'Brasil Continues to Destroy the Rainforest – But Resistance Is Growing' is the title of an article that was published in Germany in July 2019. The title explains how the forest is cut and then tells the story of a small indigenous group who vows to resist. The title gives European readers the impression that they can lean back in the hope that the problem with the Amazon will be solved within Brasil. The European reader remains unaware that, for example, the EU-Mercosur agreement as it stands now works as an amplifier of the problem. In other words, first, we have the European Union aggravating a problem by incentivising exploitation, and when the damage of this exploitation becomes apparent, the same people hope that the exploited themselves will solve the problem. In my eyes, this represents 'double humiliation'. As we know, the problem did not get solved after the above-mentioned article appeared in July, on the contrary, the problem got much worse when massive fires were started on 10th August.

Evelin Lindner's reflections on 20th September 2019, upon return to Germany to take care of her aged father: Germany is a culture shock for me now. Today, I went past a tourist shop called 'holiday-land'. I thought: Here, the 'world house' is on fire, and every hand is needed to contain the fire even though some rooms in the house – such as Germany – are still relatively unaffected. The people in that room are hard-working people, however, they seem oblivious of the fact that many of their 'jobs' contribute to the fire (the production of arms, pesticides, plastic, just to name some), and that their 'normal' lives depend on exploiting others (statistically, every German citizen holds 60 slaves in the rest of the world). When asked to contribute to the containment of the fire, those hard-working people say: 'Sorry, but I am too exhausted from my job... sorry, but I need a holiday in "holiday-land"' (which is another room in the burning house that is still relatively unaffected)... My question: How can we liberate everyone from this systemic dilemma situation that almost automatically leads us all into systemic humiliation? My answer has been to dedicate my entire life to this predicament. In 2012, my answer was to write the book A Dignity Economy, yet, all this is too weak...

Evelin Lindner's reflections on 6th October 2019: International attention to the fires in the Amazon clearly had an impact. In a meeting with Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro on 27th August 2019, Mato Grosso Governor Mauro Mendes spoke about the fires and on behalf of agribusiness expansion: 'Brasil’s image is extremely important to our relations with most of our clients [in the] outside world. Sixty percent of the state’s GDP comes from exports. So when we have a problem [like the one] that happened a few days ago [with the Amazon fires] and took undesirable [international criticism], I got very worried'.
See 'State Governors Support Bolsonaro’s Amazon Mining, Agribusiness Plans', by Jenny Gonzales, Mongabay, 9th September 2019. His worries may be warranted, as 'People Are Seriously Talking About Invading Brasil to Save the Planet', by Aaron Gell, Medium, 24th September 2019.
Evelin Lindner's thoughts: What about 'invading' the Amazon with the world's students? Why not declaring the Rainforest the world's most important 'analogue university' and elevating all those people who know how to live sustainably within a complex system such as the Rainforest to be 'world dignity professors'? This is the idea of the World Dignity University initiative!
More and more students are now sceptical of brick-and-mortar universities, what about reality as university? What about the reality of the Amazon as university? The knowledge held in the Amazon is a form of wealth that so-called 'developed' countries have lost...
‘Yes, "reality as university", dearest Evelin!’ This was the reaction from our dear Linda Hartling when I shared these thoughts on our conference’s WhatsApp group. Linda continued: ‘The Amazon as university! The Earth as university!’
Our wish is for all the dignifiers of this world to hold hands! We welcome everyone who might be interested to contribute to our particular share in this effort. The website for our World Dignity University initiative was built by our esteemed Uli Spalthoff. We need a full time successor for him now! Also our Dignity Press needs new a person who can hold the threads together and nurture it full time. All what we do is entirely a labour of love, which means that we work on a shoestring budget, that nobody receives a salary, and there are no offices. For our full time positions, we would like to reach out to people with the necessary expertise who are dignifiers, who are just retired with a pension and would like to donate a number of years as a gift to humanity!
A LOVING WELCOME TO ALL!

Evelin Lindner's reflections on 9th October 2019: What shocked me most in the Amazon, is how the concept of dignity is the main battle-field also here. As everywhere in the world, I hear the adherents of industrialisation say that 'true dignity' is linked to what they deem the only 'true 'work', namely, work that is part of the world of money – for example, extracting minerals, or cutting trees for sales, as this can make the GDP go up. (You see the same argument also in this documentary: Who is Protecting our Forests?, Arte, 2018).
What is overlooked is that the GDP does not measure dignity. The GDP can go up also when dignity is being destroyed. True dignity, and true 'work', to me, is what people do when they live in dialogue with the Rainforest, rather than destroying it for short-term profit. We all know that saying: ‘When the Last Tree Is Cut Down, the Last Fish Eaten, and the Last Stream Poisoned, You Will Realize That You Cannot Eat Money’.

A Summary of Evelin Lindner's impressions during the 2019 Dignity Conference in the Amazon, 10th October 2019
In this video, Evelin Lindner tries to summarise her impressions and reflections in the Amazonian State of Pará from 26th August to 10th September 2019. She created this video after the 33rd Annual Dignity Conference had ended, of which she was one of the conveners. The conference took place in Marabá and Belém from 29th August to 7th September 2019, and was accompanied by a global WhatsApp group. Please be aware that this video has been brought together using very basic software. It is kept 'unlisted' to protect the privacy of the people who are included.


This is a film shared by biologist Cristiane da Cunha with our WhatsApp group


Encontro das Águas, is a film published on 9th October 2019 and sent to us by biologist Cristiane da Cunha.
This is the Portuguese text:
Socializar informações e estudos referentes aos empreendimentos em construção, operação ou previstos para os rios Juruena, Teles Pires e Tapajós, e construir uma pauta comum de resistência à esses grandes projetos. Esses foram os objetivos do Encontro das Águas que aconteceu de 14 a 16 de junho, no Centro de Formação Emaús, em Santarém, oeste do Pará. Durante três dias, cerca de 140 participantes destacaram os impactos sociais e ambientais provocados pelos projetos, além da resistência feita por lideranças de movimentos, indígenas e moradores locais contra hidrelétricas, portos, hidrovias, ferrovias, exploração mineral, e tantos outros. O encontro contou ainda com a participação de lideranças dos rios Xingu e Madeira, que relataram os problemas sociais e ambientais provocados pela construção das hidrelétricas de Belo Monte (Xingu), Madeira e Jirau (Rondônia). Segundo eles, tais empreendimento provocaram o aumento da pobreza e da violência nas regiões impactadas.
"Socialise information and studies regarding the projects under construction, operation or planned for the Juruena, Teles Pires and Tapajós rivers, and build a common agenda of resistance to these major projects. These were the objectives of the Water Meeting that took place from 14 to 16 June at the Emmaus Training Center in Santarém, western Pará.
Over three days, about 140 participants highlighted the social and environmental impacts of the projects, as well as resistance from movement leaders, indigenous and local residents against hydroelectric dams, ports, waterways, railroads, mineral exploration, and so on.
The meeting was also attended by leaders of the Xingu and Madeira rivers, who reported the social and environmental problems caused by the construction of the Belo Monte (Xingu), Madeira and Jirau (Rondônia) hydroelectric dams. According to them, such endeavors have led to increased poverty and violence in the impacted regions.


These are two films shared by ecologist Marlucia Martins with our WhatsApp group



1. Maravilhosa Amazônia / Wonderful Amazon 2019
2. Defensores da Amazônia / Defenders of the Amazon by Human Rights Watch 2019
Thank you for sharing, dear Marlucia!

 


 

Your reflections before and after our conference

 


 

Announcements and Good News

•  Announcement of our Latest News
•  The Dignity Press flyer of 2016
•  An Introduction to HumanDHS, March 2013
•  A Quick Fact Sheet, March 2013
•  Information About Our Leadership and Collaborative Teams, March 2013

 


 

What Is the Aim of Our Work?

Please read more in newsletter12.

 


 

Welcome Again!

We would like to end this newsletter by thanking all conference participants for co-creating a deeply enriching experience. All our network members have been with us in spirit throughout the conference, and we are very grateful for their ongoing encouragement and support.

Please be most warmly welcomed to our future conference:

Our Workshop on Transforming Humiliation and Violent Conflict at Columbia University in New York City in December 2019, and then we gather again in Madrid, Spain, in 2020!

WELCOME!!!

Linda & Evelin, September 2019