env-IRON-ment is a documentation project that uses photography, video, sound, archival material, maps, and satellite imagery to research American locations that lived the iron industry dream, its bonanzas, and decays. The project reflects the environment between us from a particular standpoint, the iron (and steel) industry, and its residues. Is the US decaying mineral industry a preamble of what will happen in emerging countries? This project aims to reflect on our relationship with the landscape, the environment, and nature by bringing the presence and notion of geological time. It aims to raise awareness of the mining industry’s harmful social and environmental effects and help place it on the climate change agenda.
I am originally from the Iron Quadrangle in Brazil, one of the world’s largest mineral deposits that struggles with the social and environmental consequences of limitless tricentennial mineral exploration. For the past 8 years, I have dedicated myself to helping to shed light on Brazil’s ecological and human rights violations committed by large-scale mining companies.
Env-IRON-ment reflects the environment between us from a particular standpoint, the iron (and steel) industry and its residues. Is the US decaying mineral industry a preamble of what will happen in emerging countries like Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Nigeria, Rwanda, etc.?
In my practice, I merge investigative journalism techniques with academic research and art practice. This proposed project will use those tools to explore photography in an expanded form. I already use audio and video components to complement the storytelling in my practice. Each caption has a QR code that activates a video that gives context to the photographs. Also, the research is combined with an educational component to achieve a desired reflection on the audience.
LEARN MORE & SUPPORT
• Please contact Júlia if you are interested in sharing this story.
• Watch The Longest Train in The World Video based on the poem “The Longest train in the world”, by Carlos Drummond de Andrade published in 1984 in the newspaper “O Cometa Itabirano”.
• Watch the Mineral Veins performance video in English and Portuguese.
CENTER is a 501(c)3 organization. Donations may qualify as a charitable deduction for federal income tax purposes.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
(b.1983 – Minas Gerais, Brazil)
Júlia Pontés is a Brazilian-Argentinian investigative artist, photographer, researcher, and activist.
Pontés’ work focuses mainly on extractivism and mining explorations in Brazil. It entails a deep community engagement, where she develops strong ties, academic and investigative research, and documentary practices. She is currently a member of a group of Brazilian researchers studying mining impacts in her home country.
Julia uses performance, video, photography, and other media such as installation and sculpture in her practice. Pontés explores digital and analog media, especially challenging and often pushing the medium’s physical limitations; some of her aerial images are produced with an adapted large format film camera.
firstname.lastname@example.org • www.juliapontes.com