On the crux of teetering local weather tipping factors and mass extinction, widespread ecocide unfolds within the Amazon Basin. Using his distinctive documentary strategy, Richard Mosse traveled to Rio Tigre within the distant northeast of Peru to doc oil spills seeping from deserted pipeline infrastructure on Kichwa Indigenous Territory, deep within the forest.
Alongside these pictures of environmental disaster on Indigenous land, the artist carried out a broader examination of the Western nature-culture dichotomy at play within the Amazon. Utilizing the identical Geographic Data Methods (GIS) imaging expertise as extensively utilized by mining and agribusiness pursuits within the rainforest, he started photographing domesticated vegetation throughout the houses, workplaces and public areas of individuals residing within the Brazilian metropolis of Belém do Pará, a tropical metropolis on the gateway to the Amazon.
Occidental affords a meditation on Western paradigms that separate nature and tradition, one handed right down to us from Aristotle and the Outdated Testomony, which has historically positioned people and their tradition outdoors of nature. Nature is variously understood as harmful and in want of taming, colonizing, mastering, or destroying, or conversely as a pure or primordial area solely present within the absence of people. The devastating penalties of ecological mismanagement by multinational oil firms on Kichwa lands is in stark distinction to their methods of residing inside nature, which is frequent amongst Indigenous peoples. In the meantime, the cultural veneration and domestication of vegetation appears antithetical to the forest’s widespread and normalized destruction, carried out by tens of millions, but could even lie at its roots.
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