rainforest

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Art

REWILD: A Short Film by Splash and Burn and ESCIF Chronicles Rainforest Restoration Efforts in Sumatra

September 10, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

To draw attention to the ecological devastation wrought by palm oil farming in Southeast Asia, the Splash and Burn project (previously) creates and documents large and small-scale art activations. The initiative’s most recent endeavor, titled REWILD and executed with Spanish artist ESCIF, involved carving a rewind symbol into a palm oil plantation in Sumatra, Indonesia, and creating a short film documenting the effort. ESCIF explains, “the idea of going back, of rewinding, is an invitation to reconnect with ourselves; to recover awareness and respect for the earth, which is the ecosystem of which we are a part.”

The land art intervention took place on an acquired plantation within a new forest restoration site made possible by the Sumatran Orangutan Society. After clearing the palms, diverse vegetation has been re-planted. In a release about the project, Splash and Burn explains that the restoration site is located on the borders of the Leuser Ecosystem, one of the most biodiverse places on earth. Sumatra’s forests—and the wildlife populations within—have shrunk by 40% in the past two decades, replaced by palm oil, paper pulp, and rubber plantations. Though not commonly known in the U.S. as a cooking oil, palm oil is the most widely consumed oil on the planet, found in everything from chocolate and instant noodles to lipstick and laundry detergent.

You can watch the trailer of REWILD below. It features an abstract soundscape by Indonesian composer Nursalim Yadi Anugerah. If you are interested in contributing, head to moretrees.info, and follow Splash and Burn (comprised of Ernest Zacharevic and Charlotte Pyatt) on Instagram.

 

 



Photography

Stunning Portraits of Madagascar’s Reptiles and Amphibians by Ben Simon Rehn

April 22, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

All photographs © Ben Simon Rehn, shared courtesy of the artist

In December, 2018, Iceland-based photographer Ben Simon Rehn trekked to Madagascar to test a new camera for Olympus. While on assignment, the photographer captured some spectacular images of the lush African island’s wildlife. Striking close-ups of chameleons show the reptiles’ pebbled skin texture and unique coloration, and a portrait of a Sky-Blue Reed Frog shows the amphibian’s shimmering bronze-toned eyes and sleek yellow and blue skin.

Prior to Rehn’s career as a photographer, he was a high performance athlete, which shows in his ambitious location shoots in remote, rugged locations. In addition to his editorial work, Rehn seeks to raise awareness about environmental issues and the impact of mankind on the earth. Follow along with the photographer’s travels on Instagram and Behance and take an in-motion look at the landscapes he explores on Vimeo.