200 Voices

11.01.12

Fernando Arias

 

I explore ideas of conflict, oppression, sexuality, religion and a range of social concerns have driven my work as a visual artist.

The video I present here is an extract of a large installation/performance I created for the Prince Claus Awards ceremony 2011.

It is inspired by Chocó's nature and celebrates water as a source of life and alerts us to its increasing cause of conflicts around the world.

In 1997 my life took an unexpected twist when I visited Chocó - Colombia's remote pacific coastal region and one of the world's most bio-diverse rain forests. I became immersed in its nature and the challenges faced by its people; mainly African descendants and indigenous Emberá. This part of Colombia is neglected by the State although now, as in many tropical regions, its natural resources are being exploited with potentially devastating consequences. Since 2006, I have involved other artists in exploring social and environmental concerns rooted in the region, through my foundation Más Arte Más Acción (More Art More Action) www.masartemasaccion.org

For the past five years I have spent most of my time in the Chocó rainforest. Living there has allowed me to explore nature and humanity's relationship with nature in a very direct way. Previously I had lived in East London for fifteen years and was acutely aware of the dislocation between my life there and my country of birth.

Video credits: Fernando Arias, 'This is not the end' (extract), 2011

 

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