Madereros en Zona Intangible

Madereros en Zona Intangible

2010 Gustavo Toaquiza Ugsha, b.1971

Kichwa people, Tigua, Ecuador A.2011.55.1

What is it? This is a painting whose title translates as ‘Loggers in the Untouchable Zone’. It is painted on sheep hide.

Why is it called the Untouchable Zone? Yasuní National Park, in the Ecuadorian Amazon, is thought to have one of the richest communities of plants, and animals in the world. It is also extremely rich in oil. In 2007, the Ecuadorian government offered to leave Yasuní’s oil untouched if the rest of the world could raise the equivalent amount of money to compensate for the lost oil revenue by 2013. If you look carefully, you will see that the artist painted the words “In Yasuni” and a clock on the chainsaw blades.

 Was enough money raised to protect Yasuní? No, after 6 years, less than 10% of the money had been raised.  On August 15th, 2013, the President of Ecuador announced that drilling for oil would start in Yasuní. 

Who painted it? The artist is Gustavo Toaquiza Ugsha. Gustavo lives in the Andes of Ecuador and is an indigenous Kichwa artist.

Why did Gustavo paint this picture? Although Gustavo lives in the mountains, he has visited other indigenous people in the Amazonian regions of Ecuador. He saw rainforests being cut down and painted this picture. Gustavo believes that rainforests are important to all of us and should not be destroyed.

Linked objects:

Jicopo tree

Rio Guaycuyacu