The Brazilian artist Mundano used the ash from the fires that devastated the Amazon to create a mural depicting a firefighter, the Amazon rainforest destroyed, amidst flames and dead animals. The artist traveled through Brazil collecting ashes from the rainforest.
He said: "I am using the evidence of the crime. The whole painting was created with the ashes of the forest: it is the forest turned to dust, what is left after the fires. I crossed the Pantanal, the Cerrado, the Atlantic Forest.
, to see with my own eyes (the destruction of the fires), to feel that sadness and, above all, to collect the ashes. The men and women of the caves made cave paintings with coal. I go back to this technique, but I am using the evidence In this way I make art, which is 'artivism', art committed to a cause.
This culture of fire stops, it is leading us to self-destruction. We are destroying nature and we are nature. I believe we are carrying out a self-destruct process. This mural is a protest, a cry for help." Deforestation is the transformation of forest areas into deforested areas, and is very active in the Amazon basin.
More than a fifth of the forest has already been destroyed and the entire ecosystem remains in danger. This work of destruction began in the 1940s, when the governments of the region decided to exploit forest and mineral resources.
In fact, deforestation allows the sale and export of timber, which can be very valuable, the increase of land for agriculture, which is strongly needed due to the growth of the population, and the exploitation of mineral deposits.
Over the years, numerous highways have also been built to connect large cities, which have not only been primary sources of deforestation but have also encouraged the construction of new villages along them, making the problem worse.
Deforestation generates many problematic and potentially catastrophic aspects. Environmentalists have been denouncing for years an enormous loss of biodiversity, increased by the result of the destruction of forests and the unsustainable exploitation of its resources.
Furthermore, the Amazon is a huge terrestrial "lung" which, thanks to the high density of the vegetation and its equatorial position which allows a great radiation of the Sun, consumes large quantities of carbon dioxide, generating oxygen.
Removal of the forest area diminishes this effect; furthermore, deforestation is often carried out by uncontrolled fires. Pic: Reuters pic by Amanda Perobelli