Erin Currier

Marina Silva

Acrylic & mixed media on panel, 24"h x 12"w, Item No. 15158,

Marina Osmarina Marina Silva Vaz de Lima was born on February 8, 1958, in the small village of Breu Velho in Brazil. She was one of eleven children in a community of rubber tappers on the Bagacao rubber tree plantation. Growing up, she survived five bouts of malaria in addition to hepatitus and metal poisoning, Orphaned at 16, Marina was taken in by nuns in a convent and received a Catholic education-- becoming the first in her family to read and write. She graduated from the Federal University of Arce with a degree in History and became increasingly politically active, helping to create Arce’s first worker’s union. She led demonstrations, called empates, along with Chico Mendes against deforestation and displacement of forest communities. In 1994, Silva was the first rubber tapper ever elected to the federal senate. As a Native Amazonian and a senator, she built suppport for environmental protection as well as for social justice. She went on to serve as Environmental Minister in 2003 under Lula-- where she created a National Environmental System. She became increasingly isolated in the government due to her views on hydroelectric dams, biofuels, and genetically modified crops, and resigned in 2008. Marina Silva continues a successful career in politics, with overwhelming support among youth, and vows to be the “first black woman of poor origin” to become President of Brazil.