Eternal Forest

Eternal Forest is an invitation to reconsider our fundamental relationship with the forest. Eternal Forest invites the audience to think how we could transform the currently dominant ‘extractive’ relationship with the forest and why this is an urgent and necessary step. How can we contribute to creating a biodiverse environment, which requires decades or centuries, a time beyond our lifetime, to mature and thrive? How do we value something, which only our great grandchildren and their ancestors will be able to see fully developed? Philosophical, artistic, spiritual, religious, economic - what are various perspectives - and how can we integrate them so that we can all work together to preserve and rebuild biodiverse forest ecosystems?

Eternal Forest project was launched in May 2018 in Portugal at the art residency Raizvanguarda with motivation to hear and record the voice of the people who live in the villages, surrounded by monoculture plantations of eucalyptus trees. The first stage of the project was completed in 2018 and has three elements: a film, an artist book and visual works based on poetry written during the residency.

The film was created in Gois, Lousã and Arganil areas of Portugal, and is based on 12 interviews with Portuguese and International people living on the land in the area, the devastating fires have directly affected some of which in October 2017. People share their memories, stories and dreams for the future about forests, in the context of Portugal's ongoing deforestation, growth of monoculture plantations and increasing human ‘desertification’. The film is subtitled in both English and Portuguese.

Screenings, panel discussions and the future of Eternal Forest:

The film was shown all around Portugal in 2018 to an audience of more than 1000 people, including a series of panel discussions to raise awareness about the necessity of wild natural forests with the vision to inspire and activate local communities for collaborative action. It was awarded prize in the international film festival CineEco Seia and continues to generate conversations.

Taking this film around Portugal allowed me to connect with remarkable people and projects working on ecosystem restoration, reforestation, rewilding the land and building communities. Against the image of uncontrollable and ubiquitous monocultures and recurring fires, there is a growing movement of new ideas and actions towards a more regenerative lifestyle.

First two panel discussions took place at Biovilla and Roca Lisboa Gallery in November and December 2018 with participation of speakers from the background of philosophy, anthropology, art, economics, sustainability management, ecosystem restoration, and alternative education. All the panel discussions have been recorded. Video documentation will be released for everyone to watch in 2019.

Further screenings and discussions continue in 2019, for full listing please check  

Eternal Forest artist’s book

Inspired by the conversations with people during the making of the film, a poetry series was written which served the basis of visual works and an artist book. The artist book Eternal Forest was exhibited in December 2018 at the Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal and will be also presented at Linha de Sombra on January 10. 

More about Eternal Forest artist book

All this activity offers a great platform for building a community around Eternal Forest, exchanging ideas and highlighting what needs to be done to bring biodiverse natural forests back in our life. I feel my work as an artist can contribute towards awareness and sensibility of human being in nature, our impact and our role as guardians.

Eternal Forest is an ongoing long-term project, lasting a lifetime and hopefully beyond, with commitment to continue research, investigation, growing network of collaborators, igniting ideas amongst communities to build biodiverse natural spaces.

Eternal Forest continues through screenings, symposiums and conferences in Portugal and now abroad. I would love to be able to connect with 'others' who are making a difference in their work for the forests, by offering to screen the film to reach new audiences. I appreciate your help and support of the project. Please continue spreading the word by sending this to your friends, family, and sharing with those who can help support financially!

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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