The Amazon, threatened by economic development, represents one of the most fragile lands today. Non-profit organizations, activists, and the indigenous people living there are using legal methods to protect their land and defend their human rights.
For many years, indigenous communities throughout the Amazon have been speaking about the way that civilization treats nature and the planet. Each time that their natural environment is condemned to destruction (as is now happening with the Belo Monte Dam in Brazil), they speak out. But their speech has hardly been heard outside of the region. In the developed world, we often lack the sources and time for listening. When I say listening, I mean listening deeply. Listening with understanding. The Instrument for Listening is designed for this special purpose.
Historically, the megaphone has been a tool for people who are demonstrating to express their opinions, their wishes, and their needs. This work, inspired by the shape of a megaphone, honors and commemorates that tradition. When realized, the final object will be a sculpture as well as a functioning megaphone. Through an incorporated audio system, it will broadcast stories, concerns, and ideas from the Amazon people. Measuring approximately 2.5 meters high, it will fit the size of a standing man. The material that will be used to construct the Instrument for Listening is inspired by the Yanomami burden baskets from the Venezuelan rainforest. The piece is both an artwork and an activist tool.
This sculpture will be constructed in cooperation with an indigenous tribe from the Amazon. The work process is a way to meet the people, to get to know them better, and most importantly, to listen. Working closely with the participants we will together apply their decorative elements, symbols, and colors to the piece. It is this spirit of collaboration that brings purpose and meaning to the project.