On the 5th of November 2015, a dam containing toxic mining waste collapsed in the
mountains of the Brazilian mining region Minas Gerais. A devastating flood of mud
destroyed several villages before flowing into the four hundred miles long river Rio
Doce. In a region where more than three out of four people work in the mining industry,
the disaster resembled a complete tabula rasa.
Silke Huysmans grew up in Minas Gerais, a few miles away from the place where the
disaster occurred. Twenty years later, she returned to Brazil for the first time with
Hannes Dereere in order to talk to people affected by the incident and get a grip on its
immense consequences. Back in Europe, they broadened their view on the
event through interviews with economist Paul De Grauwe and neurologist Luc Crevits,
Each of them tells the story of the disaster from their own context, with their own
nuances and points of interest. The documentary theatre performance ‘Mining Stories’
is not a detective story or a reconstruction of the disaster, but an intriguing journey
through a diverse collection of personal stories crossing topics such as memory,
politics, religion, and storytelling.