Eternal Forest

Eternal Forest

The idea of ‘Eternal Forest’ is to rethink our relationship with the forest, reconnect and transform community through an art project, engaging in active participatory co-creation. The project took place in Gois, Portugal, which suffered unprecedented fires in October 2017 due to decades of unsustainable forestry practices and widespread eucalyptus monoculture in Portugal, the breakdown of communities and human desertification.

The project consists of an art documentary, a series of visual poetry works including an artist book, and an experience in the forest.

The ‘Eternal Forest’ art documentary rethinks and transforms a community’s relationship with it’s forests, through the voices of people living in Goís, Arganil and Lousã.

The film is planned to be screened in various locations in Portugal. I have launched a fundraising campaign to be able to take it to more locations - galleries, museums, cultural centres, schools and forests, as well as produce an Internet-friendly, free extended versions with additional interviews. Please help us to fundraise by sharing and donating:

Since ancient times forests have provided us with incessant riches, inspired reverence and even belief in supernatural powers. We were reliant in our survival on the forest sustaining and supporting us. Forests, a place with seemingly endless source of life’s abundance have been turned into deserts and monoculture tree plantations.

It is the time for us to reconsider our interaction with the forest. The objective of the project is to open a conversation among people. Through raising awareness and creating sense of ownership of the land we could begin to look for solutions to the challenges facing forests in Portugal.

Forests exist on a different timescale than humans. They grow slowly, their lifetime that of hundreds of human lives. I would like to explore the deeper notion of time within which forests exists, and reflect my findings through a series of visual poetry works, performance and site-specific installation.

As part of Raizvanguarda art residency in Gois I work ed for 7 weeks to realise this project. The project involves working closely with the local community, capturing memories, stories and visions for the future, and an art installation inside one of the local natural forests.

I have invited people to recall and share their stories of the forest, bringing community to the forest, with invitation to listen and hear the voice of the forest. A site-specific art installation, a ‘time capsule’ represent a snapshot of the voice of the local community, based on these stories and people's messages to the forest.

The project is intended as a long-term durational piece, tapping into the idea of longevity of the forest, sustainable foresting and guardianship from the local community. This ensures continuity of the art project and hope of local community reconnecting to the forest on a deeper level.

Alongside the site-specific installation and a gathering in the forest, drawings, poetry and calligraphy created during production of the project were exhibited at Casa do Artista in Góis.

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