VOICES FOR THE AMAZON
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For nearly a decade, artist Pooja Gupta has focused on communicating environmental stories using a variety of mediums. It is through this experience that she has learned to appreciate and care for our planet: towering upon by the tallest of trees, wading through creeks under moonlit nights, and diving into the depths of our oceans. It is with this primary inspiration, that Pooja Gupta recently became an Amazon Aid Artist for the Amazon.

It was towards the end of her undergraduate coursework at design/film school that Pooja first tried her hand at making educational films in the wildlife and nature space. In 2013, she stumbled upon an opportunity at a research station in the Andaman Islands, where for the next two years, her passion for the environment grew exponentially while working on design and film projects alongside researchers, biologists and other specialists. The more she learned, the more involved she became. “I knew I wanted to create work that enabled positive impact, she recalls. “This, I believe, was my first step into the world of conservation.”

Since then, Pooja has travelled to work in many places within India as well as the Maldives, Sweden, and Norway to name a few. In 2018, A pivotal experience came with the opportunity to spend three months in the Peruvian Amazon as a multimedia instructor (Photography, Filmmaking, Design) at the Manu Learning Centre. As she relates, “The forests were breathtaking; no matter the number of treks it would ever be enough to fathom the world of flora and fauna that lies within. But what was most fascinating to me was that, the more time I spent amidst these dense forests, the more similarities I found with the forests back in India, my home on the other side of this world.” You can read more about her experience here.

This interconnectedness within the planet we inhabit, and the way every individual action has a consequence far beyond local geographical boundaries, is a guiding mission in her work in the arts and education. This includes roles as a facilitator for field-based educational programs in ecology, geography and arts, and storytelling and nature journaling workshops for middle-high school students. In each instance, she encourages students to observe, learn, question their surroundings through journaling / design thinking by imparting basic skills in illustration and graphic design. In an interview with Art Saving Wildlife, Pooja discusses how visuals transcend words and visual language has the power to create positive change by helping break communication.

Her multimedia lab is a place where environmental communications translate complex scientific issues into aesthetic, simple and engaging forms for everyday audiences. The aim, to raise awareness, educate and promote positive action, is very much aligned with Amazon Aid’s own goals.

“I was especially intrigued by the work done at Amazon Aid Foundation, the mission, objective and goals. I wanted to be an Artist for the Amazon, be a voice for this important ecosystem but also, with equal importance be a part of the network of like minded individuals where our collaborations and efforts could lead to a whole that is larger than the sum of its parts,” she notes. “I believe collaboration is key to any conservation efforts and there is huge strength in working with groups of like minded people toward the same cause.”

View Pooja Gupta’s Artists for The Amazon Page here.

Experience some recent projects via Pooja’s Laboratory:

A short web video series on a lesser known habitat of India, the Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary: https://www.poojaslaboratory.com/secrets-of-coringa

Translating scientific research into graphical story forms.

https://www.poojaslaboratory.com/illustrated-research