Subtle Amazon

Ana Leal


In the middle of the Amazon Forest, in the state of Pará, Brazil, departing from the municipality of Alter do Chão, I face the overwhelming nature. The one that shows us its grandeur, silences us. The colors, the smells, the sounds invite us to enter these green and mysterious labyrinths that unfolds little by little before our eyes. A sense of mystery and divine is unavoidable.

My eyes fill with tears when imagining that maybe in some years we will not be able to glimpse such beauty, since advancing degradation and deforestation of The Amazon Rainforest are pushing the ecosystem to a “point of no return” where it would lose its ability to function.

In 2018, Brazil and Bolivia were among the five countries that lost the most primary forests, the virgin forests, in the world, according to the international organization Global Forest Watch, and in 2019 both countries also saw a dramatic increase in the number of fires in the Amazon region. Among the many functions of the Amazon is the help that can be given to the entire planet to balance the climate, by distributing rain throughout the region and capturing huge amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2), one of the main greenhouse gases. They are key roles in mitigating the effects of climate change.

The images were made during 10 days spent on a boat through the Tapajos River in August 2019 and they aim to draw attention to this important and urgent matter. Instead of using the commonly seen images of deforestation and fires, I decided to depict the forest with its singular and unique details.

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