History cannon 31 | 015890
This colubrine was made in an arsenal of Genoa, Italy by request of Portugal. Observing the piece we can envision that cost was not of concern. This colubrine has a rattlesnake in the shape of a warrior's head carved more exquisitely than usual.
It equipped Fort São Francisco de Tabatinga in the Amazons,
a strategic location that borders two countries: Peru and Colombia,
in the lower Solimões. The cannon was about 50 years old when the fort was built. Built in 1776, there is a high probability that it was constructed by enslaved indigenous people due to its location
close to several forest communities.
Today, isolated indigenous groups are still vulnerable and criminalized by the government. In 2020, Brazil was denounced at the UN for a possible indigenous genocide. Among the arguments of the complaint, it appears that the highest rate of deforestation in 2019 occurred in these areas of demarcation of isolated peoples, increasing 113%.
In the same year, Paulo Paulino Guajajara was assassinated in an ambush in the Araribóia Forest, Maranhão. Paulino was an indigenous leader and guardian of the forest.
In the public health crisis that we are experiencing today, manifested by the new coronavirus, one of the social plots in Brazil that is suffering the most is the indigenous. Deaths of elderly indigenous people, usually leaders, sages, healers, endanger traditional languages, festivals and other manifestations that are preserved by elders in oral cultures. Guajajaras, Karipunas and Xavantes have already lost men and women due to Covid-19 that is spreading in communities due to illegal invasion of their territories.
Absence is not just what is gone. It is not repeated or reproduced. It is disruptive. We wanted a smell that would mirror unrest, an odor that stings. We used spicy notes like pink pepper and cloves in uncomfortable doses.
We wanted the absence to manifest itself with poignancy and be experienced without being just a light memory. Vetiver was added with its dirty, burnt fraction, so that the smell of earth and ash was not clean and clear, but hard
as an absence.