ISLAND (meaning) ar.lənd

A piece of land not as big as a continent and surrounded by developments on all sides.

In 1940, oil deposits were discovered inthe Bahia de Todos os Santos, the Bays were the city of Salvador islocated; oil extraction wells were installed in the ocean surrounding area, inthe Candeia zone and in the Ilha de Maré (Maré Island), most of them are still working or were activeuntil the beginning of 2000. In 1950 the Ludulpho Alves-Matariperefinery were inaugurated, the refinery is located in front of the Ilha deMaré (Maré Island). In 1953 the national oil company, Petrobraswas founded and in 1967 the Industrial complex of Aratu, consistingtoday in a commercial port mainly for the exportation of gas and inpetrochemical industries, was built. The discover of oil it was a moment ofgreat enthusiasm and great discussions, the decision of the nationalisation ofthe petrochemical chain would influence the history of Brazil until today. In2021 the refinery of Mataripe is sold to the Mudabala Capital fromUnited Arab Emirates.The Mataripe refinery and the Industrialcomplex of Aratu got bigger along the year, becoming a reference in Brazil,simultaneously they create a massive environmental impact in the area that in1999 was legally recognised as  natureconservation area. Along the years the pollution levels of the Todos os SantosBay increased affecting the local communities that live of fishing and seafoodcatching.


Quilombo’s Shell-fisher woman

The Environmental Racism has been theorised between the 1970 and the 1980, its definition has used to describe environmental injustices in a racial contest. The environmental racism take place when politics decisions related to the environment are taken and, as consequence, generate a racial discrimination or have a negative impact on a specific ethnic/racial specific group of people.



In the colonial period black slaves run away from the sugar plantations finding a refugee on the islands of the Todos os Santos Bay including Ilha de Maré. There they created several Communities/Quilombos. In 2004 The Ilha de Maré Communities of Bananeiras, Martelo, Ponta Grossa, Porto dos Cavalos and Praia Grande were officially recognised as a Quilombo by the Brazilian Government but still the State don’t recognise the ownership of the land where the Communities are located.

In the 1950 decade, in front of the Ilhade Maré, located in the Todos os Santos Bay, a series of factories were built, among them the Industrial Complex of Aratu, the Petrochemical Complex of Camaçari and the Aratu-Candeias Port that is responsible for the 60% of the cargo ship travelling from and to the Bahia State. With an increase of the industrialisation, increased also the level of environmental pollution and environmental related incidents, like in 2008 when a Norwegian ship lost in the waters lubricant oil polluting all the nearby areas.

eunice dos santos

Quilombo’s confectioner

pedro diamantino

Attorney and professor

article 2º

Areconsidered remaining of the quilombo’s communities, for the aims of theDecree, the ethnic-racial groups, according to the self-attribution, with aproper historic trajectory, with specific relationship with the territory, withassumption of black ancestry related to the resistance of the sufferedhistorian oppression. 

Decree number 4887, of November the 20th of 2003, Federal Government - Rules theproceeding of identification, recognition,delimitation, demarcation and titling of lands occupied by remnants of the quilombo communities deals by the article 68 of the act of thetransitional constitutional disposals.

evanildes dos santos

Quilombo’s Shell-fisher woman

The Bahia’s researcher Neuza Miranda carried on a study that demonstrated the high contamination of Cadmium and Lead coming from the local industries in the children of Ilha de Maré. The researcher Beatriz Moreira Bispo underline in her study the lack of communication and compromise between the institutions, the company and the local communities, this lack of communication, mediation and reduction of the environmental impact generate local conflicts.

neuza miranda

Professor and Researcher

zenilda paraguaçu

Quilombo’s Shell-fisher woman

antônio santana

Quilombo’s fisherman

marizélia lopes

Quilombo’s fisherman

Despite the community of the Ilha de Maré tried to established a dialogue with the Institutions and the Companies to improve the environmental situation, very little has been done to decrease the pollution level or the factors that affect the Community of Ilha de Mare making them suffer of environmental racism.

maria josé pacheco

Conselho Pastoral dos Pescadores