Mariana: The Art of Resistance – Photography exhibition in Brussels

February 8, 2024

Photos by the renowned Brazilian photojournalist Francisco Proner are on display in Brussels for a Pogust Goodhead-sponsored exhibition titled ‘Mariana: The Art of Resistance’. 

Mariana dam disaster

Pogust Goodhead represents more than 600,000 victims of the Mariana dam disaster in their case against mining giant BHP in the English courts for the destruction wrought by the collapse of the Fundão mining dam in 2015.  

The tragedy claimed 19 lives and unleashed a toxic sludge that contaminated 600km of rivers and natural water springs, ultimately reaching the ocean. 

Francisco Proner’s work

The exhibition explores the resilience, adaptation, and solidarity exhibited by the affected communities in the face of irreversible environmental, cultural, and economic damage.

Francisco Proner, who has shot for the Guardian, Le Monde and Washington Post, among others, said: “It was an honour to share time with the people affected by this tragedy and to capture elements of their lives. I’m grateful to have the chance to bring their story to the public.” 

Ana Carolina Salomão, Pogust Goodhead’s Chief Investment Officer and Partner said: The waste dumped in the Rio Doce did not just affect the local community. The unwavering avalanche of toxic mud did not pause at any internal border until it reached the Atlantic Ocean. The wave of destruction, however, did not even stop at the coast. It is still spreading.  

“This tragedy is a gloomy reminder that irresponsible actions bear profound consequences, and that corporate misbehaviour can have transnational impacts.  

“Mariana’s legacy, however, is not only about destruction, it is also justice in movement. Just like the dark effects of this tragedy spread through the world, the lawsuit pending before the English courts reverberates internationally, establishing new standards to hold multinational corporations liable for their acts.” 

Tom Goodhead, CEO and Global Managing Partner at Pogust Goodhead said: “We’re proud to sponsor this exhibition by Francisco Proner, which brings home the human and environmental cost of the Mariana tragedy but also the strength and solidarity of the people whose lives were devastated by it. We will continue to stand by the people affected by this appalling tragedy in their fight for justice from BHP.” 

The Art of Resistance Exhibition

Francisco Proner’s work will be on display to the public in Brussels at Galerie D’Art Montgomery Boulevard St Michel, 1 1150  Bruxelles until 6pm on Saturday.

Opening hours are 10am to 6pm. Entry is free.  

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