As part of our two-week cultural program with Edimilson, we visited Aldeia Maracana, an Indian community just down the road from the university.
The property, once belonging to a Brazilian military head and proponent of the Indian cause, was abandoned shortly after his death around the turn of the 20th century. Roughly a hundred years later the mansion is in ruins, and the property has been occupied by indians from all over Brazil since 2006. The building itself has been fashioned into an ad-hoc, alternative museu: its dilapidated walls are covered in paintings and stories told by different tribes from all over Brazil.
It is a remarkable, unique space that has been home to many indians over the past few years, though Brazilian government doesn’t quite see it that way. The Aldeia Maracana has the unlucky fortune to be located at the foot of the biggest soccer stadium in Brazil, which is currently being renovated for the World Cup.
On the day of our visit, the decision fell from the city government to expel the current residents of the property to make way for a parking lot for the stadium next door. The property was eerily empty while residents and supporters were at city hall to receive the news and protest. Two schools nestled on the other side of the Stadium had suffered the same fate just a few months earlier.