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Soundslandscape - Charco Beach
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PLACE

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Historically, the main port of the island of Santiago was located in the village of Ribeira da Barca, in the borough of Santa Catarina, still colloquially known as "Porto". This  point of departure from the island was linked to Porto Grande in São Vicente, to which food products were regularly dispatched.

With the decline of the port and rise of globalisation - which drives the growth of the country's main urban centres - Ribeira da Barca becomes more well known for its aggregate extraction industry, producing the raw material needed to meet the increasing demand of the construction industry.

Located around 16km from the city of Assomada and 60km from the capital of Praia,  Ribeira da Barca is now a fishing village with a population of around 3500 people, an unemployment rate of 24.2% and illiteracy of 36.7% (source: CENSO 2010).

The fall in demand for natural aggregates and the increasing preference for its artificial alternative, is leading to a social and latent humanitarian crisis, and signifies the gradual extinction of the main source of work and pay for local women, which a large proportion of local families rely upon.

The wear and tear which the aggregate extraction process has on the women is comparable to the wear and tear the process has on the coastline, stretching from Charco beach (where the sand has all but vanished) to the riverbed. Here, the soil, sand and grit is separated daily. It is also where urban waste matter, from rubbish to human and animal waste, ends up on a daily basis.

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