The Vanishing Forest - PhMuseum

The Vanishing Forest

Ana Leal

2020 - Ongoing

The images from the project “ Vanishing Forest “ were made during 10 days spent on a boat through the Tapajos River, in August 2019 and they aim to draw attention to the fact that 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. Since then the situation has only escalated.

I started this project at the end of 2020 motivated by the desire to give new life to the original images taken at this expedition.

More than 1,300 images were made. But I still felt that something was missing. After returning from the trip and following up on the situation in the region more closely, I was eager to develop work on the increasing destruction of forests in the Amazon region. However, I was trying to find a new approach to this important and urgent matter. Inspired by concepts of postmodern photography that I was exploring during the past year, I started working on postproduction.

After a while of working on the images, I reached a result that left me intrigued and motivated. An enigmatic image of the Forest that seemed to contain a kind of portal. For me, it felt like a portal to the future. I imagined a grandson searching my files and finding this type of image. Deteriorated images, physically or digitally. These constructed images represent a metaphor for an apocalyptic future where the Forest is not clear, it is worn out, lost. My eyes fill with tears when imagining that maybe in some years we will not be able to glimpse such beauty. I hope we can change this course and give a New Beginning to this sad story.

The series is composed of archival pigment prints on Matt Fine Art textured certified fine art paper at size 30’ x 42’.

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  • Vanishing #4

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  • Vanishing #2

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  • Vanishing #5

  • Vanishing #6

  • Vanishing #8

  • Vanishing #12


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