Amazon Aid is happy to welcome Jen Ekbom, a multimedia artist, who uses creative communication to promote biodiversity and environmental health rather than consumerism.
How did you first become inspired by Amazon?
Nature and animals have always had such a powerful effect on my well-being and giving me a sense of belonging. The Amazon biodiversity is, to me, completely mind-boggling with its organic complexity and compelling beauty! If we fail to protect the soil of the Amazon and its indigenous habitants, then I believe we will lose unretainable knowledge on how to meaningfully coexist with each other and ourselves. Let alone leaving any hope for avoiding climate catastrophe and unnecessary suffering. There are so many reasons why I am grateful and inspired by Amazon (even though I live far away in Sweden), and to acknowledge that we still have so much left to discover and learn from the Amazon should vibrate a ray of hope for everyone, for me it surely does.
How does the Amazon Rainforest and environmentalism manifest in your work?
Before anything else, I believe my work to be rooted in self-expression and self-care. Remaining creative and curious is my own best-cure for staying appreciative of the present moment, regardless of current affairs or the tools I use to speak through. And as far as creativity goes…Amazon is the unmatched teacher and artist! By channeling my humble understanding and feelings around topics such as sustainability, regeneration and symbiosis, my hope is to evoke awareness, action and dialogue about our relationship with nature at large. Preferably also finding new artistic collaborations and friends. Coming from a highly modernized part of the world, I am privileged in many ways but the lacking sense of mystery and appreciation for the unmeasurable and the unknown Is to me very concerning. If my work can be a
counter-perspective to this way of viewing the world, I am happy.
Have you ever been to the Amazon? If not, how did you feel a connection to it?
Unfortunately I have not. It would be a dream come true. Ever since I realized Amazon’s contribution to planetary health I have felt a great respect and a yearning to support its existence, in one way or the other. My late interest in human psychology and media further connected my attention and emotions to the Amazon via the ideas from people like Carl Jung and Terence McKenna. They inspired me to learn more about sociological history and physiological barriers we somehow need to overcome, in order to fight against the growing tide of mental illness and shortage of meaningful identity. Maybe it’s weird being so passionate about a place I have never actually been to, but the uniqueness and informational depth of Amazon is impossible to deny.
Do you have any planned pieces about Amazon?
Yes! More is coming, stay tuned 🙂
Your work has a certain whimsy to it, how could you apply that to creating awareness to the issues facing the Amazon?
There are many known strategies to call for other people’s attention. From entertainment and education to public relationships, humour, provocativeness, etc. The list goes on. But no artist, marketing manager, or customer persona can truthfully predict how the stroke of a brush will be transformed into meaning by another person, at any given time. In light of this, working as an artist for Amazon gives me a lot of creative freedom and pride because the underlying purpose is bigger and more consistent than any market share or dickrocket to outer space.There are many ways one can get interested and contribute to the the pressing situation of the Amazon and these are the “bridges” I strive to achieve and explore with my work. This, of course, extends outside my work into considering how my own climat-footprint and consumer behaviour puts pressure on the planet.
Check out Jens work at: