This exhibition animates our recent action-research project investigating the lived experiences of wildfires in the Chiquitania region of Bolivia – an area with one of the largest and best-preserved dry forests in the world. This is an ecosystem most vulnerable to extreme fires, and all communities in the region have been and continue to be profoundly affected by intensifying wildfires.
The exhibition shares portraits of people who participated in the Forum Theatre project, people whose lives are profoundly marked by wildfires; their portraits sit alongside scenes from the theatrical work, including portraits of some of this same people dressed as the characters they played on stage.
We hope the collection communicates and conveys the urgency and intensity of how wildfires are entangled in a web of endemic issues: land dispossession, institutional corruption, critical lack of basic health services, systemic infrastructure failure, extreme inequality, political disputes and more. These images also tell stories of survival and resilience – of people and communities enduring and weathering difficult, precarious circumstances intensified by recurrent socio-ecological crises.
The exhibition includes 32 photo panels with substantive captions and three audiovisual installations. A more compact version of the exhibition with a selection of photos and captions can also be displayed.
If you are interested in hosting the Playing with Wildfires exhibition, please get in touch using our contact form.
Research team: Lorenza Fontana (University of Glasgow), Caleb Johnston (Newcastle University), Alastair Cole (Newcastle University), Angelo Miramonti (Bellas Artes, lnstitucion Universitaria del Valle, Cali, Colombia), Daniel Moreno (Ciudadania Bolivia), Sonia Ho/man (Ciudadania Bolivia)
Royal Geographical Society Annual International Conference in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, 25th August to 2nd September 2022.
ESRC Festival of Social Sciences at Creative Sterling, 27th October to 13th November 2022.
Royal Geographical Society permanent exhibition venue, London, 13th to 25th March 2023.
Casona Mayorazgo (curated by Ciudadania), Cochabamba, 14-21 April 2023.
Earth Day Italy (curated by Klug), Giardini reali e Cavallerizza reale, Torino, 22nd April 2023
Off Topic (curated by Klug), Torino, 24-28 April 2023.
British International Studies Association (BISA) Conference at Hilton Glasgow, Glasgow, 21th to 23rd June 2023.