Blind Magazine : photography at first sight

Oil Stains

Photographer Felipe Jacome’s ten-year long project in the Ecuadoran Amazon focuses on oil exploitation, and the Waorani people’s resistance to it.

The Waorani are an amazonian indigenous tribe that fought fiercely to remain isolated from the outside world. They resisted for the longest time among native tribes in the area, until, in the 1960s, oil companies managed to take their land. Pollution, logging, prostitution, alcoholism and evangelization came with.

For his project Spill, photographer Felipe Jacome used cotton paper stained with crude-oil marks made with rainforest leaves, to symbolize the brutality of extractive industries’ impact on indigenous peoples. After decades of exploitation, in August 2023, Ecuadorians approved an important referendum to halt oil drilling in the Yasuní National Park, home to the Waorani, rejecting the country's dependence on oil and asking for a different model for growth and development.

You can see more of Felipe Jacome’s work on his website, and watch a video related to the project at this link.

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