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selected pictures from the exhibition AMAZON TRAILS - SPOR I AMAZONAS


AMAZON TRAILS
Workers Museum Copenhagen
1.dec 2012 - 27.jan 2013
&
Phototek Esbjerg
14.jun 2013 - 31.aug 2013
SPOR I AMAZONAS
Arbejdermuseet København
1.dec 2012 - 27.jan 2013
&
Phototek Esbjerg
14.jun 2013 - 31.aug 2013



from the press release :

AMAZON TRAILS AT THE WORKERS' MUSEUM IN COPENHAGEN

The photo exhibition "Amazon Trails" takes us along "Via Auca" - "Road of the Savages" - into Yasuní National Park and through the territory of the Huaorani people in the rainforest of Ecuador.

The exhibition portrays the warriors and hunters born before the first contact was made with missionaries in 1955, as well as the new generations, who have settled permanently and have grown up in the shadow of the struggle over resources of the rainforest.

AMAZON TRAILS

The Huaorani live in the tropical rainforest of the Ecuadorian Amazon. Between the rivers Napo and Curaray, the jungle and its historical footpaths bear witness to how its people who have survived by moving on.

I have travelled in the Amazon since 1978, seeing how the hunt for oil and natural resources has intensified all around. The pressure is growing on one of the last pristine areas of rainforest.

In the mid-1950s, a group of North American missionaries made contact with the Huaorani by flying over the forest and dropping gifts. After an initial violent clash, many Huaorani settled near the missionary station. This gave them access to new tools, food and education, as well as a break from internal wars. However, two groups among the Huaorani decided to remain inside the forest and have ever since rejected any type of relation with the outside world.

The contact with the missionaries was neither the first nor the last encounter with the outside world. Nevertheless, the Huaorani have endured in the popular imagination as "the last savages". In 1990, they were granted the right to their own territory, but resources under the ground remain state property. Today their territory is one of Ecuador's major oil-producing areas.

The contact with the world around them has left tracks in their daily lives, just as the Huaorani themselves leave tracks in the landscape and the forest. In the course of half a century, the Huaorani have learned to combine their life as warriors and hunter-gatherers with an existence on the edge of industrial society.

YASUNI INITIATIVE AND HUAORANI TERRITORY

The indigenous Huaorani people's territory has traditionally stretched from the Napo River in the north to the Curaray River in the south. In 1990, they gained recognition of an area of 6,125 sq. km. (2,366 sq. miles). Three main roads lead into the Huaorani territory: Vía Auca, Vía Maxus and Vía Gareno.

Yasuní National Park was founded in 1979 with the aim of protecting a forest area with one of the world's greatest wealth of species. In 1989, the park was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The Huaorani exert only limited influence on the formal management of the park.

Towards the late 1960s, the government issued the first oil-drilling concessions for the area. Today 10 oil blocks encroach on the Yasuní National Park and the Huaorani people's territory. Chinese, Spanish, Brazilian, French, Italian and Ecuadorian oil corporations operate there.

In 1999, the state set up the "intangible zone", where all forms of resource extraction were banned. This measure aims to protect the indigenous Tagaeri and Taromenane, who live in voluntary isolation. In recent years, however, these groups have not been living in the "intangible zone", but in oil block 31, among other places, which has led to bloody clashes between oil workers, settlers and these isolated peoples.

In 2007, the President of Ecuador launched the Yasuní initiative with the purpose of letting oil reserves of an estimated 864 million tons remain unexploited below the national park in exchange for compensation from the international community. The initiative encompasses a part of the national park known as ITT (Ishpingo Tiputini Tambococha).

In August of 2013 President Correa and his government abandoned the Yasuni-ITT initiative and liquidatet the Yasuni-ITT trust fund and announced they would go ahead with drilling for oil in Block ITT. The government signed subsequently permits for drilling and exploration in May 2014, with the intention that oil drilling could begin in 2016.

The exhibition Amazon Trails is created in collaboration with anthropologist Stine Krøijer. The images stem from stay and travels in the Ecuadorian Amazon in 2011 and 2012.

The exhibition is supported by IBIS and Danida's Information Grant (Danida's oplysningsbevilling)
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