Walter Miranda
Plastic Artist




Technique: Oil + sand + objects * on canvas on wood


Dimensions: 136 cm X 56.8 cm


Year: 2020


* Objects used: Computer boards sawed and ground, debris from electronic components, sharpened pencil shells, glass domes, etc.


On November 5, 2015, the city of Mariana was surprised by the rupture of a dam called Fundão and managed by Samarco Mineração and controlled by the mining companies Vale SA and BHP Billiton. The mud formed by the mining waste flooded the sub-districts of Bento Rodrigues and Paracatu de Baixo, which were almost completely destroyed, and killed 19 residents. Subsequently, the flood of mud hit several towns and districts in the Gualaxo River valley and polluted the waters of the Doce River, which flows through more than 200 municipalities in Minas Gerais and Espirito Santo until it flows into the sea. Many municipalities had their water supply damaged because they depend on the Doce River.


One of the results of this catastrophe in the river was the extinction of several species of fish and the environmental degradation that will last for several decades, as the land became unproductive and several animals disappeared from the region due to the conditions of the Doce River.


On November 22, 2015, the mud hit the sea making the region's beaches unsuitable for swimming and affecting an important local biological reserve and thousands of species of marine fauna and flora.


On January 25, 2019, the dam called Mina do Córrego do Feijão in the city of Brumadinho also suffered a rupture, killing 270 people, including workers, residents and tourists. Also controlled by Vale SA, the mine dumped thick mud that hit local villages, closed roads, knocked down pillars of a bridge and reached and contaminated the Paraopeba River, which supplies more than fifty cities. The mud also destroyed part of the Atlantic Forest and killed several domestic and wild animals. This is considered the biggest environmental disaster in the country, as well as the biggest work accident.


In addition to all these problems, the cities that were affected by the two disruptions had their economic activities impaired, a fact that caused unemployment and closed activities in addition to reducing the quality of life of local populations.


This work represents my revolt with the neglect of mining companies towards human and animal life and addresses some representative situations of these two environmental disasters. The center of the frame represents the tailings path going to the sea at the bottom. At the top, two dancers represent human arrogance and despair at their actions on nature. The left lane represents situations related to the destruction caused in Brumadinho and the right lane represents situations caused by the Mariana dam.


The title of this painting is formed by the combination of the names of the cities of Mariana and Brumadinho.


Walter Miranda
Ateliê Oficina FWM de Artes
All rights reserved.