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The Amerikas Colloquium

On Thursday, May 20, Nora Horisberger talks about the environmental challenges of the Parnaíba Delta (Brazil) and how its inhabitants handle them in their everyday life

20.05.2021 at 18:15 

Nora Horisberger, M.A. (University of Cologne):

‘From Water to Water’: Practices for Maneuvering the Ever-Changing World of the Parnaíba Delta (Brazil)

In Northeast Brazil, between the States of Piauí and Maranhão, a labyrinth of fresh and
salt waterways with more than seventy islands of different sizes and shapes forms an area
commonly known as the Parnaíba Delta. In-between the terra firme and the open sea, inbetween
land and water, life on the deltaic islands unfolds amidst manifold movements:
sediments create new islands, tides wash away shores, sand dunes pour over waterways
and migrating fish appear and disappear. Many of these movements are highly volatile,
they are abrupt and largely unpredictable. Drawing on ethnographic research in deltaic
villages, this presentation focuses on everyday practices through which delta inhabitants
attempt both to stay with the flow and to create ordering and constancy. Although these
attempts may fail at times, delta inhabitants do not consider volatile changes as disruptive
of normal life. Rather, changes are inherent to how their world works and not only bring
about challenges but also possibilities for those knowing how to negotiate, creatively
maneuver through and playfully engage with this ever transforming world.

When?            Thursday, 20 May 2021, 18:15

Where          Zoom-Meeting. Get the Link by writing an email to

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Download Program Americas Colloquium (111 KB)