The Healing Plants is a documentary series about the indigenous ethnobotany, to understand the diverse flora that the Ashaninka people from Peruvian rainforest, have long used and protected. For today, their connection and consciousness linked to biodiversity is in danger of disappearing.
The damage amounts for the last two years are alarming. More than 203,272 hectares of rainforest have been deforested, 37% more than 2019 with raising numbers. The Ashaninka territory near the VRAEM is still a strategic but conflicted site for resource extraction. As the Shining Path (far left guerrillas) disbanded and large swaths of remote areas opened, narco traffickers, illegal loggers, miners and others moved in to have control over the Amazon natural resources.
“Plants are like doctors protecting humanity. We are looking for our own solutions to conserve them”, says Diego Segura, an Ashaninka leader.
The Healing Plants is a long term photo documentary project that I started in 2020, when the pandemic severely affected the indigenous communities, when the elders started to disappear and the transmission of knowledge about biodiversity was compromised and disrupted. This series is about raising awareness and educating on their connection with Amazonian plants through images about the indigenous' oneiric world and their sensitive connection with the forest.