Research for Forest Law, 2014

Ursula Biemann & Paulo Tavares
1955, Zurich, Switzerland. Lives in Zurich / 1980, Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil. Lives in Campinas, Brazil

Forest Law draws on research carried out in the frontiers of the Ecuadorian rainforest, at the transition between the Amazon floodplains and the Andean mountains. This border zone is one of the most biodiverse and resource-rich regions on Earth, and is currently under extreme pressure from the dramatic expansion of large-scale mineral and oil extraction activities. Guiding the work is a series of landmark legal cases that bring the forest and its indigenous leaders, lawyers, and scientists to court, including one such particularly paradigmatic trial, recently won by the Sarayaku people, whose case argued for the centrality of the “Living Forest” in their community’s cosmology, modes of being and ecological survival. No longer the background of political disputes, in these conflicts nature appears as a subject of rights in its own terms.