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Brazilian Painter Brings Attention to Threatened Amazon Rainforest

Brazilian artist and activist Mundano works on the mural 'The Forest Brigade' using paint made with ashes collected and brought from fires in Amazon, Pantanal and other biomes, in Sao Paulo, Brazil October 14, 2021. (REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli)
Brazilian Painter Brings Attention to Threatened Amazon Rainforest
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Brazilian artist Mundano has used the remains of burned trees from the Amazon rainforest to create a huge painting in Sao Paulo.

The mural painting on the side of a building shows a firefighter standing among fallen trees, fires and dead animals.

"I'm using evidence of the crime," said Mundano. He calls the 1,000-square-metre artwork an act of "artivism". The word artivism suggests a link between art and activism.

Mundano travelled more than 10,000 kilometers across Brazil during June and July. He collected the remains of burned trees and plants from the Amazon rainforest, the Pantanal wetland area, the Cerrado tropical savannah and the Atlantic Forest.

He also met with firefighters and volunteers to listen to their stories.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has struggled to keep a promise to end illegal forest clearing in the Amazon area. It is the world's largest rainforest. His calls for more farming and mining have, in some cases, led to increases in illegal forest clearing.

In August, satellites images recorded 28,060 fires in the Brazilian Amazon area.

Scientists say the Amazon plays an important part in easing the effects of climate change. Its plant life takes large amounts of carbon dioxide from the air and stores it.

"This mural is a protest, a cry for help," said Mundano. "I support fire brigades and also for this fire culture to stop, it's leading us to self-destruction."

I’m John Russell.

John Russell adapted this story from a Reuters report. Mario Ritter, Jr. was the editor.


Words in This Story

savannah – n. a large flat area of land with grass and very few trees especially in Africa and South America

mural – n. a usually large painting that is done directly on the surface of a wall

brigade – n. a group of people organized to act together