RESILIENT Forest Cities: Utopia and Development in the Modern Amazon is a 3-year-funded project of the Gerda Henkel Foundation as part of the special Programme: Lost Cities: Perception of and Living with Abandoned Cities in the Cultures of the World. The project will be conducted within the isoTROPIC research group in close cooperation with Patrick Roberts (MPI Gea), Antoine Acker (Geneva University), and Patrícia Vieira (Coimbra University).
The project is making its official presentation as part of the Workshop "Forest Cities: Multidisciplinary Approaches to Urbanism in the Amazon", taking place on November 27th and 28th at the Max Planck Institute of Geoanthropology, in Jena.
RESILIENT Forest Cities: Utopia and Development in the Modern Amazon focuses on 20th century ‘lost cities’ in the Amazon created and abandoned in association with different extractivist projects. The project will use multiple historical documents to explore the resilience of industrial cities in tropical forests from both a human and non-human perspective. Amazonian lost cities are privileged spots for investigating the pitfalls in discourses on modernization and progress so prevalent on large-scale development projects, which continue to shape the imaginings, expectations, and lives of people in the Amazon to this day.
The project is coordinated by Dr. Danielle Heberle Viegas within the isoTROPIC Research Group led by Dr. Patrick Roberts at Max Planck Institute of Geoanthropology, in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Antoine Acker (Switzerland) and Prof. Dr. Patrícia Vieira (Portugal). RESILIENT forms part of a wider research focus of the isoTROPIC group and Department of Archaeology at MPI-GEA centred on human history in the tropics and the interplay between urbanism and different environmental and historical contexts. It also builds on the rich history of energy research in Latin America at the University of Geneva, within the Eccellenza-funded research group AnthropoSouth: Latin American Oil Revolutions in the Development Century. Finally, the project aims to promote interdisciplinary knowledge decentering humanity as the only source of meaning on the Amazon rainforest through its partnership with the ERC-funded ECO Amazônia project based at University of Coimbra.