Amazon Footprints

BR-163 is an 1800 km dusty strip of road stretching through the heart of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest. The highway has become the frontline in the battle against destruction and exploitation by illegal loggers, cattle ranchers, soy farmers and multinational companies.

The photographs look at the daily lives of people who live on or near the highway and whose lives are changing as rapidly as the environment around them. Although some villages are offered protection from the destruction in protected reserves, the seemingly irreversible process of transforming large areas of virgin forest into agricultural land for cattle and large-scale soy production means that everyone living in the forest can expect change and disruption.

Despite campaigns and agreements to protect the environment, each year thousands of acres of irreplaceable forest is lost forever and the impact on the local and international climate is incalculable.

An Amazonian villager with a machete sitting in a clearing in the rainforest where he is sustainably extracting wood for his community's use. Villagers playing football at dusk in the village of Jaguarari on the banks of the Tapajos. river. A cowboy herding Zebu cattle along a stretch of Highway BR163. A family living in a village on the banks of the Tapajos river making farinha. Passengers crossing the Tapajos river on a ferry from the town of Itaituba. An area of newly-cleared virgin rainforest for sale and ready for planting with soy by the side of Highway BR163. A box of piranha, which are mainly used to make fish soups, on sale at Manaus fish market having been caught in the Amazon and Rio Negro rivers. A solitary Brazil nut tree standing by the highway in a cleared patch of rainforest. Villagers carrying a staue of the Black Madonna through Fordlandia during an annual festival celebration. A derelict rubber factory building stands decaying in the middle of Fordlandia, where American automobile pioneer Henry Ford established a rubber plant. A fisherman casts his net into the waters of the Tapajos river at dawn as he tries to catch the rainbow bass, or tucunare. An aerial view of a dirt track and rainforest destruction in the Amazon basin where small communities of subsistence farmers relied on the rainforest for food and shelter. A mother and her child leaning against the balcony at their home in Fordlandia. A derelict rubber factory building stands decaying in the middle of Fordlandia, where American automobile pioneer Henry Ford established a rubber plant. Two children pictured at their home, a traditional reed hut in a small settlement in a protected reserve in the rainforest.

Did you like this? Share it:

Leave a Reply

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS