Amanda and I finished taping the documentary “Velha Januária” in October 2008, weeks before the municipal elections. Since then, our contact with the city was through Fabio Oliva and other people that we met and that shared with us news from there. In the beginning of July, I went back to Januária after almost two years to make some final arrangements for the project “Friends of Januária”.
When I arrived this time, the municipal employes were in the middle of a strike for wage adjustment. As always, the city was incredibly alive and people were anxious to talk about politics and their impressions on the municipal government… specially when they saw Fabio Oliva! To spend some days with him made me understand a little better the work of Asajan.
We were together to tell people about the project “Friends of Januaria” but, meanwhile, a new case for investigation appeared. In the morning, it was just a rumor told by a teacher about some houses that were being built for selling somewhere in the town. Who was building them and with which money were some of the questions in the air, but the suspicion was that the municipality was somehow involved in this.
A clue for the investigation came in the afternoon during a meeting with the representative of the Public Prosecution Service in Januária. He asked if people were using materials and trucks from the municipality for this work, what would be illegal… In the evening, more information: the municipality had done paving only in the streets around the place where the houses will be located. The mystery was getting interesting and Fabio was anxious to find out more.
In the next day, before leaving Januária we went to the place where the houses are being built and got some pictures of the constructions and the paved streets. We could also find out who is in charge of them, to whom it belongs, how many houses will be made and their prices. Fabio has now a lot of elements to find out the if the municipality is really involved in this. Let's wait to see what he will discover!
Obviously this made me think a lot about the project and things we should stimulate in the participants. A quick look around their neighborhood can bring interesting stories to tell and new cases to investigate.
On the next post I will tell more about the meetings we had in Januária during this visit and the advances we are making in the project.