about

“Cartographies in conversation” is a project that collects audio recordings of conversations with local indigenous people in the Amazonia about cultural heritage, relationships to land and the unprecedented wildfires in the last few years result of the growth of the agricultural frontier, to discuss and reflect on the connections between colonialism and deforestation in the Amazonia.

This website works in tandem with a woven piece that connects its materiality to the conversations’ audio files through QR codes, see more in about the map.

The fragments of audio files contained on the website, currently correspond to the first stage of the project with conversations that were held both remotely and in place, with local people from Palmarito de la Frontera and Concepción in the Chiquitania territory, and one conversation from Asunción de Guarayos form the Guarayos territory, all territories based in the Bolivian Amazonia.

The project was possible with the collaboration, knowledge and insight form the people that take part of it through their voices.

Palmarito de la Frontera
• Agustina Aponte Reyes
• Antonio Ramos Surubi
• Jesus Rivera Supayabe
• Katiana Luisa Putare Supepi
• Luís Motore Arroyo

Concepción
• Ros
• Rubén Suarez

Asunción de Guarayos
• Maribel Gutiérrez

The project was developed during the master’s program in Design (Visual Communication) at the University of Bergen in the Faculty of Art, Music and Design (KMD), 2020 – 2022. As such “Cartographies in conversation” is a discursive design project in the intersection of anthropology and visual communication design, in which the main designed piece is a woven piece presented as an archival artefact that contains excerpts of conversations with local indigenous people in the Amazonia, these can be accessed through QR codes.

“Cartographies in conversation” is a project that collects audio recordings of conversations with local indigenous people in the Amazonia about cultural heritage, relationships to land and the unprecedented wildfires in the last few years result of the growth of the agricultural frontier, to discuss and reflect on the connections between colonialism and deforestation in the Amazonia.

This website works in tandem with a woven piece that connects its materiality to the conversations’ audio files through QR codes, see more in about the map.

The fragments of audio files contained on the website, currently correspond to the first stage of the project with conversations that were held both remotely and in place, with local people from Palmarito de la Frontera and Concepción in the Chiquitania territory, and one conversation from Asunción de Guarayos form the Guarayos territory, all territories based in the Bolivian Amazonia.

The project was possible with the collaboration, knowledge and insight form the people that take part of it through their voices.

Palmarito de la Frontera
• Agustina A.
• Antonio R.
• Jesus R.
• Katiana P.
• Luís M.

Concepción
• Ros
• Rubén S.

Asunción de Guarayos
• Maribel G.

The project was developed during the master’s program in Design (Visual Communication) at the University of Bergen in the Faculty of Art, Music and Design (KMD), 2020 – 2022. As such “Cartographies in conversation” is a discursive design project in the intersection of anthropology and visual communication design, in which the main designed piece is a woven piece presented as an archival artefact that contains excerpts of conversations with local indigenous people in the Amazonia, these can be accessed through QR codes.

The Amazon rainforest comprises nearly a third of all tropical rainforests left on Earth and is home to the 10% of all the wildlife species we know about (World Wildlife Fund, n.d.). The Amazonia is known not only for its biological diversity but for its capacity to regulate the temperature and oxygen levels on the planet, capabilities that have been put into questioning in recent years as it seems that it is now emitting more CO2 than it can absorb as a result of deforestation and climate change, hotter temperatures and droughts (Gatti et al., 2021).

According to The Amazonian Network of Georeferenced Socio-Environmental Information 2000-2018 report on deforestation, there has been an increase in deforestation in the Amazonia in the last few years, since 2015, after a tendency that seemed to decrease.

Even though different activities affect the ecosystems and communities in the Amazonia with soil, air, and water pollution, derived as well from mining activity—are cattle ranching and soy production the main reasons for increased deforestations activities (Carrington, 2021) also linked to the wildfires phenomena, such as the Days of Fire in 2019 (Rainforest Rescue, 2019).

It is a common practice to set fire for clearing, and most of the clearing is related to agricultural activity in which 91% of the deforested land since 1970 is now for cattle ranching. (Margulis, 2003)Comprising 5% of the world’s population, indigenous peoples are guardians of 80% of the biodiversity on the planet (Amnesty International, n.d.).

It is not surprising that indigenous peoples worldwide have entered the debate on the environmental crisis by offering alternative perspectives while questioning the social structures and values that compose the globalized society. Today’s indigenous communities are in a state of resistance to a system that is not only devastating natural resources and making human life on the planet unsustainable, but with its predicted trajectory puts indigenous communities in danger of cultural genocide, relocation, displacement, to name a few of its consequences.

World Wildlife Fund. (n.d.). The Amazon. https://www.wwf.org.uk/where-we-work/amazon

Gatti, L.V., Basso, L.S., Miller, J.B. et al. (2021). Amazonia as a carbon source linked to deforestation
and climate change. Nature 595, 388–393. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03629-6

Rainforest Rescue. (2019, August 23). “Days of Fire” ravage Amazonia.
https://www.rainforest-rescue.org/updates/9496/ days-of-fire-ravage-amazonia

Margulis, S. (2003). Causes of Deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon. The World Bank.
https://documents1.
worldbank.org/curated/en/758171468768828889/pdf/277150PAPER0wbwp0no1022.pdf

Amnesty International (n.d.). Indigenous peoples. Amnesty International.
https://www.amnesty.org/en/what-we-do/indigenous-peoples/

The Amazon rainforest comprises nearly a third of all tropical rainforests left on Earth and is home to the 10% of all the wildlife species we know about (World Wildlife Fund, n.d.). The Amazonia is known not only for its biological diversity but for its capacity to regulate the temperature and oxygen levels on the planet, capabilities that have been put into questioning in recent years as it seems that it is now emitting more CO2 than it can absorb as a result of deforestation and climate change, hotter temperatures and droughts (Gatti et al., 2021). According to The Amazonian Network of Georeferenced Socio-Environmental Information 2000-2018 report on deforestation, there has been an increase in deforestation in the Amazonia in the last few years, since 2015, after a tendency that seemed to decrease. The Amazonian has become, in my opinion, an example in which we can see the damage of Capitalistic ideas of development and progress, led by private interests that harm local communities, the forest, and the animals that inhabit these areas—to mention some. Even though different activities affect the ecosystems and communities in the Amazonia with soil, air, and water pollution, derived as well from mining activity—are cattle ranching and soy production the main reasons for increased deforestations activities (Carrington, 2021) also linked to the wildfires phenomena, such as the Days of Fire in 2019 (Rainforest Rescue, 2019).

It is a common practice to set fire for clearing, and most of the clearing is related to agricultural activity in which 91% of the deforested land since 1970 is now for cattle ranching. (Margulis, 2003)Comprising 5% of the world’s population, indigenous peoples are guardians of 80% of the biodiversity on the planet (Amnesty International, n.d.). It is not surprising that indigenous peoples worldwide have entered the debate on the environmental crisis by offering alternative perspectives while questioning the social structures and values that compose the globalized society. Today’s indigenous communities are in a state of resistance to a system that is not only devastating natural resources and making human life on the planet unsustainable, but with its predicted trajectory puts indigenous communities in danger of cultural genocide, relocation, displacement, to name a few of its consequences.