Hochschulseminar - Mythos grüne Stadt
Manaus - Traurige Tropen
Nina Braun & Katinka Danquard, 22.1.2015

Manaus - Sad Tropics

Manaus, a city located deeply in the brasilian dschungel at the meeting of Rio Negro and Amazonas. For the first time discovered in 1542, it became a porugese fort in 1669 named 'Forte de Sao Jose'. During the years it grew to a city which was first known for its significant role whilst the Caouchouc-Boom.

In 1866 international travellers and tradors are able to drive up the Amazonas for the first time which meant a great improvement, social and economical, for the city. At the same time myths and sometimes horrifying storys about the tropics and its natives spread the western world. Manaus developped immensly through the years and in 1890 is the best developped city in whole Brasil. After being the world wide monopoly of Caouchouc Manaus looses this position in 1910 cause of smuggle of Caouchouc seeds to London. Since then the city went through a great downfall until the interest in exotic woods grew in the western world. Manaus nowadays lives from uprooting the Rainforest around it to get fine woods or spaces to farm beef.

Manaus is one of the plenty examples that show how citys only manage zu exist because they take profit from their surroundings, in this particular case the Tropis. On the one hand this is necessary for the city and its inhabitants to survive, on the it means the destruction of one of the biggest biotopes on earth.