Silvie Crespo

“the land of elephants”

“This is a story about exploitation and resistance in the land of the white gold, and it begins with the mountains. It is said that hidden underneath the grey rocks of the Barroso mountains is a precious silvery white metal. Aware of the irreparable damages that the mining of the resource would cause to the landscapes and groundwater supplies, the inhabitants of the region refuse to see mineral rights signed away to foreign corporations in the interest of fast but ephemeral profits. Portugal is Europe’s largest reserve of lithium. Due to a growing demand, it launched an international auction of lithium exploration licenses. The promises of the past are the lies of today: creation of employment and economic growth. But who could fail to read the sermon in the rocks of Barroso? Who could think that an open pit mine could guarantee ecological salvation when between the mountains, the ruins of the mining past stand still, traces and omens of pillaged resources and duped aspirations?”

© Silvie Crespo

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