The popular notion of street art probably conjures up ideas of bright, angular graffiti thrown up on gritty urban walls. But a recent global renaissance is redefining what street art is and what it conveys, from installations that offer up sharp eco-political satire, to spiritually inspired impermanent sand paintings, to large-scale artworks that honour traditional handicrafts.
In this light and photography installation dubbed Street Art 2.0, French photographer and self-professed "activist artist" Philippe Echaroux projected images of the indigenous Surui people on the trees of the Amazonian rainforest, as a powerful reminder of the threats that the Surui and their rainforest home face with rampant illegal logging and mining.
According to Buchet Ponsoye, Echaroux spent over a week with the tribe as a guest of the tribe's chief Almir Surui Narayamoga, photographing some members of the group. The images were enlarged with a projector, and photographed once again. Echaroux's aim is to raise awareness in the international community about the tribe's plight, saying that the Surui are "victims of massive deforestation and gold washers who did not hesitate to violate the Indian’s territory to seize deposits of precious stones."
There is strength in these poignant images. They are a reminder to us modern-minded people, who have been indoctrinated to look at nature's bounty as a collection of resources, rather than as part of who we are.
We are conditioned to see nature as separate 'other', rather than seeing ourselves as a part of nature, inseparable and yet all interconnected parts of an unbreakable whole. Seeing the forest visaged in this way reminds us that it is very much alive, and very much a part of our collective soul. As Echaroux so aptly explains: "When you cut a tree, it’s like putting down a man." See more of Philippe Echaroux's work here.