Film Screening: Dry Ground Burning

Friday, April 28, 2023 5:30pm–8:00pm EDT & Saturday, April 29, 2023 10:00am–12:00pm

This film screening is the first piece of a two-part event and will be followed by the Beyond Dystopia Roundtable on Saturday, April 29. (Separate event: more info here.)

How does art deal with end-of-the-world narratives? In what ways has art been imagining peoples and their connections among the many crises we have faced – climatic, political, democratic? Is it possible to imagine new worlds and renewed ways of being together within the dystopic present and future?
This 2-part event brings together artists and activists who imagine new worlds and connections through their work, amidst and despite the world coming apart. Rather than focusing on destruction, threat, and ruin, panelists aim to inspire with a conversation about how art can imagine new ways of living amidst and in spite of the world seemingly coming apart.
Dry Ground Burning (2022)
A film by Joana Pimenta and Adirley Queirós
Just released from prison, Léa (Léa Alves Silva) returns home to the Brasilia favela of Sol Nascente and joins up with her half-sister Chitara (Joana Darc Furtado), the fearless leader of an all-female gang that steals and refines oil from underground pipes and sells gasoline to a clandestine network of motorcyclists. Living in constant opposition to Jair Bolsonaro’s fiercely authoritarian and militarized government, Chitara’s women claim the streets for themselves as a declaration of radical political resistance on behalf of ex-cons and the oppressed. An electrifying portrait of Brazil’s dystopian contemporary moment that blends documentary with narrative fiction and genre elements, Dry Ground Burning reunites filmmakers Joana Pimenta and Adirley Queirós (Once There Was Brasilia) to offer a unique vision of the country’s possible future.
A discussion between co-director Joana Pimenta and Profesor Richard Peña will follow the film.

This film screening and discussion are presented in conjunction with Refugee Cities: Urban Dimensions of Forced Displacement, a two-day conference on migration and displacements. The Beyond Dystopia roundtable on Saturday morning will expand on and deepen the ideas raised both at the conference and in the film.

Beyond Dystopia Roundtable (4.29.23) (register:

featuring Joana Pimenta, João Pina, Natalia Borges Polesso, & Bill Shipsey

Moderator: Natalia Lago, Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities (2022−2023)