| Ancient Rythm II - color|
World Indigenous Games 2015, Brazil
At the World Indigenous Games 2015 in Brazil, I used long shutter speed to capture the indigenous energy - to paint the athlete’s strength, their speed, their ancient rhythm. The resulting soft images connect us to our roots, to the old drawings in caves dating back to prehistoric times - universal and fundamentally innate to all of us.
But, the hazy imagery is also a metaphor for the fact that indigenous people are fading.
Everywhere, so-called 'civilization' is closing in on them, stripping them off their land, their food and their way of life.
Their land is being taken, their rights trampled, their way of life is being destroyed and they are being captured and killed. For land, for money, for power, for greed.
They are the only humans left on earth who live like our ancestors thousands of years ago. Living off the land, leaving no footprint, in harmony with their environment and with respect to all living things. And they are being annihilated.
I feel that this is one of the most shameful injustices of our times. Future history books will judge the fact that we stood by and did nothing.
The indigenous people of the world need our help to protect their way of life and to ensure their lawful claims to their land.
But we need them just as much, if not more. Their knowledge of nature, of interconnectedness, of herbal medicine and their ancient wisdom is something we need now more than ever. The joint statement they gave at COP21 in Paris is one of the most powerful and inspirational declarations I ever heard, their wisdom a clear beacon in troubled times. They are our last connection to our roots. To our collective ancient rhythm. We have a fundamental obligation to them - and ourselves - to ensure they do not fade away.