The exhibition From the Dust of the Earth comprises 50 black and white photos taken by Mauricio Nahas at the Vale do Jequitinhonha, in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Curated by Diógenes Moura, the show integrates a larger project that involves the release of an homonymous book, that also takes place with the opening, and the production of a feature documentary, to be released in 2016, searching to reveal who are the artists of the region and how they live, specially the women.
Conceived by the producer and photographic agent Fernando Machado, the project aims to look with fresh eyes to the artistic production in clay and ceramics of the area, known for its miserable conditions: unemployment, drought, high mortality rates, violence, alcoholism and the poor quality of the soil, condemned by the monoculture of eucalyptus, have earned the nickname Misery Valley for the region. In 2013, Machado and Mauricio Nahas have travelled to the valley to document in film the life in the region. They covered 3.300 km in seven cities: Santana do Araçuaí, Caraí, Minas Novas, Itinga, Coqueiro do Campo, Itaobim and Ladainha. There, they have met strong women, who support their families through the artisanal craft.
While the images for the documentary where captured in 2013, the photos for the exhibition and the book where produced in 2015, during a second trip to the Valley. The book From the Dust of the Earth (Notorious Films Editions /208 pages) comprises images by Mauricio Nahas and texts by Diógenes Moura, Emanoel Araújo, Museu Afro Brasil’s director, and Fernando Machado.