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Article: ‘The River is Life’

Article: ‘The River is Life’

Article: ‘The River is Life’

An interesting, short story by photographer Alice Kohler about the Araweté people in the Amazon basin, who find themselves being overwhelmed by the approaching influences of civilization and fear they’ll lose their culture.
The Araweté are a horticultural people who hunt and gather as well. They can distinguish 45 different kinds of honey alone and make use of the wonderful red color of the seeds of achiote.

But, of course, the aggressive march of techno-industrial society is threatening their very existence.
“As part of a so-called “Emergency Plan”, the Brazilian company running the project [of building the Belo Monte dam], Norte Energía, has given them boats and fuel, and provided a monthly stipend. According to Kohler, this money has caused social conflict and forced villages to split, and led to the Araweté growing less of their own food and introducing a new diet – including sugar, soft drinks and cheap biscuits – which is causing diabetes.”

We’ve seen this story unfold a thousand times before, yet we let it happen again.


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