When Leandra Silveira’s family was relocated from their ancestral home on the northeast coast of Brazil to the Pepital agrovila, a government-built village miles inland, she was a young mother of three.
“I cried like a child. Crying in the car, looking back,” said Silveira, who is now a great-grandmother. “It was really hard when we arrived. Really hard. We didn’t have any crops, or fruit trees, or places to fish … If it wasn’t for help from other communities, we wouldn’t have survived.”
In the early 1980s, in the final years of Brazil’s military dictatorship, hundreds of Black families like Silveira’s were removed from their land to make way for the construction of the Alcântara