History cannon 33 | 015888
This cannon was brought from France to its South American colony Cayenne and then captured by Portuguese and British troops when the region was taken in 1809. In the year before,
the royal Portuguese family had to leave Europe and run away
to Brazil (Portugal’s colony) as Napoleon, the French Emperor,
was invading Portugal. As a revenge the Portuguese troops and the allied British Royal Navy invaded Cayenne, the closest French colony. This episode is known as the Portuguese Conquest of French Guiana and it sealed the British-Portuguese alliance that lasted through the period that João VI was living
Nowadays, Cayenne is the French Guiana’s capital and borders with the state of Amapá in the North of Brazil. However, Guiana was never considered a country, but a French overseas territory. In May 2020, according to Época magazine, the French Guiana government increased the presence of its military forces to prevent the crossing of the frontier between the municipalities of Saint-Georges de l'Oyapok in Guyana and Oiapoque in Amapá, Brazil . These strict measures were taken due to the infection rates of Covid-19 in Amapá which in April 2020 became the epicenter of the pandemic in the Country. Amapá is one of the Brazilian states that houses the Amazon forest. Hundreds of indigenous communities live in it and its surroundings, suffering the government’s neglect, mainly regarding to the contamination of Covid19.
“The indignity with which indigenous people are treated
during the Covid19 pandemic has opened a new and appalling chapter on the violation of the rights of indigenous people
by the state of Brazil"
According to the article from the the newspaper El País of
June 24, 2020, three women from Sanöma, an indigenous group of the Yanomami who live in Roraima, a state a nearby state, were taken to the Amapá’s capital with pneumonia. They took their babies with them. They contracted Covid19 and did not survive. Their bodies disappeared and probably were buried
in some city’s cemetery leaving the mothers without knowledge. The disregard for indigenous lives exist in Brazil since the beginnings of colonization.
The smell of Invasion brings in its composition memories of violence, fear, profit and also courage of the invaders. The fear and anxiety from the individuals affected by the violence of the invasions is represented by animalic, phenolic and foul notes found in Osmanthus while the violence is evoked in the antiseptic smell of lacerations and the metallic notes of blood brought by the extracts
of Castoreum, Oud and Musk in the composition.
The smell is hot, burnt and presents notes of ashes
from the mouth of the cannons. Gunpowder with its components of Sulphur, carbon and saltpeter is known
since the IX Century as the black gunpowder or the
smell of Hell. Aldehyde cuminic, one of the main
molecules of cumin instigate the pungent, spicy and oily smell of Invasion.
This page describes the History and associations
with the smell Invasion in Cannon #33.
The questions below are bridges between
you and past and present passages of Brazilian History.
It would be exciting to have your
contribution in the construction of an
imaginary collective smell glossary.
Have you ever been invaded by a smell?
Can you describe it?
Smells are invasive.
Can you remember of a place or a moment
where you were invaded by a smell?