ana macarthur
The Amazon Rainforest -
photosynthetic wonder

Consciously addressed in this project is the awareness of a critical moment in time we stand at. Between 11,000 and 27,000 sq. kilometers of the Amazon rainforest are deforested every year. In a short period of 40 years, nearly 20% of this rainforest has been destroyed. Every 4 seconds an area of the rainforest the size of a football field is felled. What is unique to the Amazon rainforest is that it is the largest forest carbon sink in the world. Tropical rainforests around the world absorb nearly a fifth of all man made CO2 emissions. All that green mass (the lungs) eloquently breaths in the critical ingredient contributing to climate imbalance .... carbon. As deforestation is such a critical factor in climate change, it puts Brazil (where the bulk of the Amazon Rainforest exists) in the category of the 4th largest greenhouse gas emitter.

MacArthur's project focuses on with equal interest in the fact that the Amazon rainforest is the largest forest carbon sink in the world and, in fact, the largest region of bio-diversity in the world. The scale alone of the victoria amazonica water lily denotes a region impressive for its prolific generation of life and highly significant due to the special combination of lush equatorial sunlight with massive amounts of water.

MacArthur came to realize the significance of reconciling preservation of the Amazon with supporting those who make the Amazon rainforest their home, and for many generations. The indigenous tribes have sustainably lived there a long time an unfortunately have suffered the most.
Many others of partially indigenous origin, strive to
figure out how to survive. As MacArthur carried out
the first phases of her project in 2007 and 2008, it
became vital to be on site in the context of the
Amazon and observe and "listen" every step along
the way to just how the locals were surviving or
struggling to make their livelihood, as well as how
they treated their environment.

MacArthur came to realize that this immersive experience was the only way to understand the true complexity of the issues that surround the deforestation of the Amazon. With the guidance of locals assisting her with the project, MacArthur ate cooked meals many times in the areas referred to as the "invasions".... the small shanty towns on the outskirts of Manaus that are mostly composed of people coming in from deep within the forest or up river because they could no longer make a living. While MacArthur made her multiple castings of the plant along side the river and hours up river from Manaus, she could quietly observe its inhabitants who live lives on docks near the river and just how they survived. As a result of these multiple immersive encounters, MacArthur believes that the locals should be given the power, and empowered, to be sustainable caretakers of this great bioregion. Certain communities already are. As a result, these observations are embedded in the project.