In the 1970s and 1980s, Brazilian communities facing displacement by the Itaipu Dam — which is now the largest producer of hydroelectric power in the world — stood up against the military officials overseeing the dam's construction. In the context of an emerging national fight for democracy, they elevated their struggle for land into a referendum on the dictatorship itself. Jacob Blanc will discuss his new book, which traces the protest movements of Brazilians living in the shadow of the Itaipu dam, challenges the primacy of urban-focused narratives, and unearths the rural experiences of dictatorship and democracy in Brazil.
Jacob Blanc is a Lecturer in Latin American History at the University of Edinburgh. His new book, Before the Flood: The Itaipu Dam and the Visibility of Rural Brazil will be published by Duke University Press in December 2019.