Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon

by Center for Amazon Community Ecology
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Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
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Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon
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Support native artisans & rainforest in the Amazon

Project Report | Nov 3, 2023
Community mural inspires creative thought and action

By Campbell Plowden and Tulio Davila | Project Leader and Communications Coordinator

Amazon Ecology’s latest collaboration with the Creative Action Institute (CAI) was called “Promote good management of chambira in native communities of the Ampiyacu basin.” It achieved this and much more. This three-day workshop brought together 10 women and 9 men in the Bora native village of Brillo Nuevo where they first considered and then shared what they were good at and what they loved to do. Their next task was making a mask that represented different aspects of themselves. Not surprisingly most of the metaphorical creations emphasized their connection to their culture, the river and forest. Some masks resembled ones used in traditional dances; others were (spirit) animals or abstract creations. The process sparked rare and deeply personal conversations.

In a “World Café” gathering, participants discussed problems they experienced in their community and brainstormed potential solutions to them. Artisans were acutely affected by the ongoing theft of chambira seedlings and leaves which is their main raw material for making woven crafts. Other concerns were the prevalence of alcohol consumption, envy, gossip, and selfishness and the decline of interest in traditional culture and community activities, and decreasing crop yield due to climate change. People were particularly bothered that these problems were increasing the alienation of young people, distrust and violent interactions. They hoped that these issues could be addressed in empathetic and constructive ways combined with the goal of setting limits and consequences for harmful behaviors.

On the third day of the workshop, the well-known village artist Darwin led the group to paint a mural on the outside wall of the school that represented the different phases of planting, harvesting and processing chambira palm to make handicrafts in the matrix of a diverse forest environment. It was an emotional experience for the painters, and they invited the school children to see their work when it was done.

Darwin commented: “This mural had a special meaning for me, since it was the first one I had done in my own village. While I have presented my art several times in Lima, the country's capital and been lucky enough to exhibit in Europe, this experience had a unique weight for me. Creating a mural in the community where I was born and raised was very important. I think it was a way to be part of something with my people. I don't know, it's hard to describe.”

One participant Javan shared his thoughts about the workshop –

“The Amazon Ecology and CAI workshop really surprised me. I didn't know what to expect. I have always worked with my hands, making crafts and understanding what the forest gives us, but I had never been in a workshop like this. In the activity where we talked about the problems we may have in the community we shared what we thought, and that was good because we all feel the same about the forest. It is our home and livelihood. But what I liked the most was the mural at the school. I had never done anything like this and seeing everyone working together, painting together, was special. I think that when children see that mural, they will better understand what we do and why the forest is so important. I'm glad I participated, and I hope we do more things like this.”

Another advantage of having Darwin lead the mural-making part of the workshop is that he is also the young President of Brillo Nuevo who was inspired to translate some inspiring ideas from the workshop into action into the community. He organized a series of follow-up community gatherings which focused on concerns about chambira theft and alcohol. While these issues had been discussed many times before, people who participated in the workshop were able to share their feelings about them in a way that made a profound difference. Since that workshop in July, artisans have not reported any further theft from their chambira plants, and the community reached an agreement that alcohol should never be sold to minors and should only be sold to adults on weekends and special holidays. It may not eradicate alcoholism, but it felt like an important step forward to many.

Bora artisan Lidaberna painting at Brillo Nuevo
Bora artisan Lidaberna painting at Brillo Nuevo
Bora artist Darwin painting mural at Brillo Nuevo
Bora artist Darwin painting mural at Brillo Nuevo
Bora woman with mask at AE/CAI workshop
Bora woman with mask at AE/CAI workshop
Bora woman reflecting on her passions at workshop
Bora woman reflecting on her passions at workshop
Group painting mural on schoolwall at Brillo Nuevo
Group painting mural on schoolwall at Brillo Nuevo
Bora woman painting mural at Brillo Nuevo
Bora woman painting mural at Brillo Nuevo
Mural group with masks at Brillo Nuevo
Mural group with masks at Brillo Nuevo
Native artisans with finished mural at Brillo Nuev
Native artisans with finished mural at Brillo Nuev
Finished mural on school wall at Brillo Nuevo
Finished mural on school wall at Brillo Nuevo

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Jul 11, 2023
Sharing craftmaking to preserve Amazonian culture and nature

By Tulio Davila and Campbell Plowden | Communications Coordinator/Project Leader

Jun 1, 2023
Pablo's Story - My Life as an Artisan

By Tulio Davila/Campbell Plowden | Communications Coordinator/Executive Director

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Organization Information

Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Location: Lemoyne, Pennsylvania - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Amazon Ecology
Project Leader:
Campbell Plowden
Dr.
Lemoyne , Pennsylvania United States
$169,270 raised of $200,000 goal
 
1,289 donations
$30,730 to go
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