Aaron Vincent Elkaim was The Alexia 2016 professional recipient for Where The River Runs Through, a project that documents and strives to understand the consequences of Brazil’s major hydroelectric expansion on the ecosystems, communities, and industries within the Amazon Rainforest. That work has now been published as part of a major article by National Geographic.
The Belo Monte dam, when completed, will be the forth largest dam in the world. Another 40 dams are planned for the region. The National Geographic article details the origins and progress of the the massive dam complex, the flooding it has brought to the area, the indigenous resistance to the project, and the series of concessions that have been made to allay some of the larger concerns about the project’s impact. Elkaim’s photographs allow us to see the consequences of this project, particularly on the displaced indigenous community.
“Elkaim keeps returning to the region to photograph what’s at stake and the people at risk. And he hopes his images invoke a worldwide nostalgia for the Amazon and the people who have lived in it for centuries,” National Geographic’s Daniel Stone tells us.
“The idea is to show myth and imagination that exists within it,” Elkaim explains to the magazine. By making these people and this place visible to the wider world, the photographer helps us all understand what will be lost when this complex is finished.
Read the full National Geographic article with new photographs from Elkaim’s project at http://www.nationalgeographic.com/photography/proof/2017/06/amazon-river-dams-displacement-indigenous-elkaim/