In November 2015, a dam containing toxic mining waste collapsed a few miles away from Silke’s childhood home in the South of Brazil. A devastating flood of mud destroyed several villages below the dam. In the next couple of days, the poisonous sludge flowed into the river Rio Doce and eventually reached the Atlantic Ocean. The ecological impact and environmental pollution was the largest ever recorded.
Silke returned to her hometown in Brazil together with her partner Hannes in order to talk to people affected by the incident and get a grip on its immense consequences. Back in Belgium they did additional interviews with experts from various fields of knowledge, amongst others a mining expert, an activism researcher and an economics professor.
Using field recordings from their conversations in Brazil and Belgium, Mining Stories brings together multiple perspectives on the impact of the disaster. Each of the speakers tell the story of the disaster from their own context, with their own nuances and points of interest. The result is a journey through a diverse collection of personal stories crossing topics such as memory, resistance, religion, and storytelling.
Mining Stories was selected for Circuit X (Belgium) in 2017 and was awarded the main prize at Zürcher Theaterspektakel (Switzerland) in 2018 with the jury stating that "Huysmans and Dereere rely on an impressive yet simple staging, with an honest, ethical statement with regard to eco-political topics and issues.”
In Portuguese, English & Dutch - English Subtitles / 60 minutes