Dead River podcast receives critical acclaim

March 1, 2024

The story of the Mariana dam disaster is being told in a new podcast named ‘Dead River’. Hosted by environmental broadcaster Liz Bonnin, the series follows Brazil’s worst ever environmental disaster.

Victims of the 2015 tragedy share their heart-breaking stories and speak about their ongoing pursuit of justice as they take on BHP and Vale in the English courts.

“From the moment I heard about the story of the Mariana dam disaster I was gripped. I hope this podcast will help to amplify all too often unheard voices and raise awareness of the urgent need for accountability in what resulted in Brazil’s biggest environmental disaster.” – Liz Bonnin

Since launching at the end of February, the podcast has received critical acclaim from a host of international news outlets.

Dead River podcast reviews

The Guardian, which listed Dead River as one of its podcasts of the week, described the series as ‘an emotive, worrying listen packed with heartstring-tugging music, as we hear locals recount their fears that “the dam was sick.”’

The Guardian Weekly

The Independent’s Yolanthé Fawehinmi highlighted Dead River as one of the top podcasts of the week. She said: “Dead River does a great job of raising the key questions surrounding corporate responsibility, the climate crisis and the protection of indigenous communities, whilst also featuring vivid and harrowing soundscapes and world-class sound design. Choosing to explore a true story through this medium is both innovative and moving, as it brings listeners closer to the heart of the Mariana Dam Disaster and the fight for justice.”

The Sunday Times listed Dead River as one of their ‘best podcasts to check out now’. Patricia Nicol writes: “In 2015 Brazil’s Mariana dam collapsed, flooding more than 50 million litres of arsenic-laced waste into the environment, with the damage spreading across the country and into the Atlantic. Liz Bonnin looks at how action against a mining agent on behalf of 700,000 plaintiffs affected will become the UK’s largest class-action lawsuit.”

PodPod said of the series: “Bonnin tells the story of the disaster with first-hand accounts, expert analysis, and sound design elements. Bonnin said she hopes that the podcast will amplify unheard voices, raise awareness of the urgent need for accountability, and make listeners pause and think about how the way they live and what they prioritise can impact the health of the planet.”

PodNews said: “Dead River weaves together the interconnected lives shattered by the events of November 2015 through powerful first-hand accounts, expert analysis and world-class sound design. Listeners can expect gripping storytelling – spanning from Brazil’s complex colonial history to harrowing retellings of the dam collapse itself from locals who nearly lost their lives.”

The first two episodes of Dead River are available now. A bonus episode with Pamela Isabel, a mother who lost her five-year-old daughter Manu in the disaster, is also available to download.

Click here to listen on Spotify.

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts.

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