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This photograph of men standing in shirtless bodies, surrounded by the long leaves of the jungle fauna, and a thatched hut behind, was captured in a remote jungle in Brazilian Amazon. The year was 1934, and these were Henry Ford’s men. Six years earlier, the American industrialist had launched a massive operation in order to break free of the stranglehold the Asian rubber importers had on him and his industry. He had picked a location on banks of river Tapajos, hired a workforce and razed vast stretches of Amazon land to start a rubber plantation. But Ford’s dreams were much grander. He wanted to build a utopic community that was to serve as a double experiment in business and civilization. Unfortunately, Ford was only a businessman. By the time this photograph was taken, his dream was already breaking apart.

fordlandia-5

Photo credit: Greg Grandin

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© Amusing Planet, 2015.


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