Save the Forest, Save the Culture

“SAVE THE FOREST, SAVE THE CULTURE” was an awareness project based upon the idea that everyone shares a part in the issues currently faced by the Amazon and by the forests of the world.

The central message of this campaign, created by Alessandra Mattanza and the filmmaker and visual artist Ana Santos, in 2008, in New York, was that forests and rain forests and the cultures that they support are indispensable in the fight to save our planet and the human race.

From the indigenous people, we can relearn long-forgotten values and reclaim our true relationship with nature, improving our daily lives and ensuring our future. Because of their carefully preserved and special knowledge of the forest ecosystem, the indigenous people of this region are key in the quest to find new answers and sustainable solutions for climate change and for the survival of our world.

“100 VISIONS:  The ‘Heroes’ of the Amazon.” This campaign aimed to be “green” and socially unifying in its quest to reframe our thinking of the planet’s resources and how they are allocated.

A first-time media initiative, the project set out to be a collection of 100 visions from the famous and the not-so-famous:  non-profit organizations, local and foreign biologists, anthropologists, researchers, scientists, writers, artists, healers, explorers, filmmakers, actors, celebrities, and, also, everyday people, whose voices are no less significant. It was hoped that this “voice of the forest” would become the voice of the people, traveling and echoing around the world.

The “SAVE THE FOREST, SAVE THE CULTURE” campaign included a feature 58-minute documentary film by Ana Santos; a book with interactive DVD; a mobile, interactive, social media campaign; mobile exhibitions; gala events; and concert fundraising events.

It culminated with an opening exhibition event, in 2010, with the participation of Jan McAlpine who, at the time, served as the  Director of the United Nations Division on Forests and the Head of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF), based at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

The exhibition, featuring the work of the photographers Antonio Briceno and Attila Lorant, curated by Alessandra Mattanza, Augusto Ferretti, and Ana Santos, was hosted at the Gabarron Foundation (from January 18 until  May 19, 2011) in New York and was also displayed for over three months on screens in Times Square.