“Socio-environmental conflicts in April totaled 145 cases, reveals Peruvian Ombudsman” (April, 2012). Indeed, some of this cases have been in the spotlight, in the press or TV, being the most discussed Conga (mining project financed by US-based company Newmont); social networks and citizens openly opposing it using the Web as their main tool (by uploading videos against the project in Youtube, for example) have played an important tool in the dissemination of information, and organization of protests and the like.
Peru is a country characterized for its diverse geography. This factor has played a key role in the current social division; most people in the Capital, Lima (where most of the wealth and political power lays) are only aware of the various events in the interior/rural parts of the country only through the media, in most cases. And, as we know, most of it serves to larger political and economical powers.
This same media has hardly informed citizens about contamination in the Peruvian rainforest. There have been multiple cases, especially (but not only) related to oil spills and deforestation coming from big multinational petroleum companies. Many of these cases have been going on for years, and inhabitant’s protests have not been heard, and rarely discussed (with the exception of a couple of documentaries, that have not been publicized at all) in the public domain.
There is information online, but, in many cases, it is hard to find, or it is in another language other than Spanish (which is the main language spoken in cities). One needs to know specifically the subject to search to find some information, and of course, if one has never heard of anything related to it, how can one know what to search for?
My goal with this interactive installation is to virtually place the visitor into the fisherman’s boat; to be a witness of the beauty of its voyage, so it can listen to the rainforest’s sounds, expecting him or her to eventually notice that the fisherman’s net is, indeed, empty… As him or her get closer to the video source (TV screen), the video accelerates – just as contamination rates increase when the western world gets closer to the rainforest through globalization. When they are close enough, the video will be interrupted, and a message, or a map, with precise information related to this process of contamination, appears, as the sound changes.