ARTIST FOR THE AMAZON
Selina Giorgio, a Munich-born artist of mixed Hungarian and Italian heritage, navigated contrasting worlds in her upbringing. Growing up, Selina experienced life in a rich and materialistic city, where she often struggled to feel at home amidst the emphasis on materiality and status. Selina sought to connect with her roots and express her deep connection to the natural world through art.
As she grew, Selina became increasingly aware of societal injustices driven by capitalism. She channeled her passion for art into social work by volunteering at a refugee center, where she discovered the magic of blending art, nature, and community engagement.
Her journey continued through art school, where she honed her skills and discovered the transformative power of film to convey her messages. Selina’s dedication to merging social critique, environmental awareness, and creativity led her to create impactful documentaries and artworks.
After graduation, Selina embarked on a journey to South America, focusing on supporting social and environmental causes. Her experiences in Ecuador deepened her love for the Amazon and her involvement in environmental and reforestation initiatives. Her time spent with the indigenous community “Cofán de Dureno” shed light on the hardships faced by communities exploited by the “Chevron” oil company.
Recently, Selina ventured to Brazil, documenting the “International Rights of Nature” Tribunal at “FOSPA,” addressing issues like the massive “Carajas” iron-ore mine’s impact on the Amazon and the environmental devastation caused by the “Belo Monte” hydroelectric power station. She witnessed firsthand the suffering of affected communities.
Selina Giorgio’s art continues to bridge the gap between environmental activism, social justice, and creative expression, creating a powerful voice for change.
The crimes convicted in the Amazon are incredibly present and show themselves in many ways – still, too many people are not aware of that.
Seeing destroyed cultures, habitats, poisoned rivers, soil and acres of deforestation broke my heart and made it impossible for me to look away from the (eco)genocide, that is happening in the Amazon.
Mining giant Vale’s railway cuts off access to the southernmost part of the “Gavião” people’s land. A dusty corridor of deforestation flanks the tracks, where trains thunder by 35 times a day, including overnight.
“Carajas” is not the only scandal where an industry is killing and destroying indigenous people and their land. Belo Monte, Gold mining, fishing, forest fires – all this I am capturing, interviewing people and collecting information, with the vision of doing a documentary film about these cases.
In Ecuador, the most outstanding thing was my time in the Cofán community and the struggle they had with clean water. Although the community is surrounded by an abundance of rich rivers. All the water resources were fully contaminated by the oil industry. Although I really tried my best to not get in contact with the contamination, I spent several days in the hospital because of infections.
In that moment I not only knew how bad the situation was but could feel it on my own body.
While taking antibiotics and recovering I started to search for solutions, that could help the community.
I found a workshop from an organization called “Yakunina”, that specialized in natural water filter systems, where they showed a simple but efficient way to filter rainwater.
This was perfect for the situation of the community, as it was the only water which was not totally contaminated by the company.
Still, the Cofán do have not enough money to build water filters for the whole community.
I think we have a duty to know what our dependence on oil means to the marginalized men and women of the world.
We must try to develop a relationship between the production and the end products that we use and to understand what an important role we play as consumers.
For this, we must listen and understand the experiences of the people who live on the land from which the substance originates. All over the world, people like the Cofán live discriminated against and are being robbed of resources that have become indispensable to our lives.
There is still time to make this planet a fairer and more sustainable home for everyone and to break new ground together.
Understanding the challenges presented by the oil extraction at Dureno and elsewhere is an integral part of that mission.
Considering Art as one of the strongest instruments of communication, it can aid us in creating a space for spiritual, cultural and social well-being within our society – as it helps us to provide a critical distance and by that improve our understanding of ourselves and the world. My goal is to let the pure voice of the Amazon speak, to support and protect life.
I strongly believe that the power for change lies in the reunion of people.
As long as this is the case, there will always be hope that the stunning bio- and culture-diversity can be saved, so that the residents of this magical place can live the lives they deserve with dignity and peace.