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By Audrey Kemp, LA Reporter

May 9, 2024 | 3 min read

As the lungs of the Earth gasp for breath, a fictional short created with an Indigenous tribe aims to awaken global consciousness to the necessity of conservation.

Vivo, a Brazilian telecom company under Telefônica Brasil, has just unveiled a new project alerting to the point of no return in the Amazon Rainforest.

The short film ‘Amazon Desert Rally’ highlights the unprecedented threats of drying rivers, deforestation and desertification in the Amazon rainforest through a fictitious race. With the tagline ‘Don’t sponsor this race,’ the film urges consumers to consider the origins of the wood products they consume.

Vivo, which bills itself as Latin America’s most sustainable tech company, developed the campaign with Brazilian indigenous tribes, such as the Paiter Suruí, environmental organizations like the IPAM (Amazon Environmental Research Institute) and the Stock Car racing series in Brazil. Meanwhile, Africa Creative, which is part of Omnicom Group’s DDB Worldwide and one of the largest ad agencies in Latin America, led the effort.

Filmed on the Rio Branco in Roraima, the film portrays a dystopian future where indigenous people from the Paiter Suruí village, their ancestral homeland, train for a race on dry riverbeds.

While the rally depicted in the campaign may be fictional, the Amazon’s drying rivers are not. In 2023 alone, the rivers in the Amazon basin have lost 120tn liters (roughly 31.7tn gallons) of water.

Meanwhile, illegal logging is encroaching on Indigenous territories designated for sustainable logging. Illegal logging, which accounts for 40% of logging in the Amazon according to a recent study published in Nature, results in the eradication of forested areas the size of Denmark each year.

Paulo Moutinho, a senior researcher at the IPAM, commented: “We envision a future where forests and flowing rivers reign supreme, where nature thrives and humanity finds harmony with the environment.”

“Without water and without forests, humanity will lack the vitality to rally,” added Almir Suruí, president of the Paiter Suruí territory and UN-appointed Forest Hero.

Vivo’s campaign doesn’t stop at cinematic storytelling; it extends its reach through seven compelling woodcut printed posters, each crafted by Indigenous artists at the visual arts studio Black Madre. The artworks, showcased at the Museum of Modern Art in São Paulo, serve as poignant reminders of the environmental cost of deforestation.

In tandem with the campaign launch, Vivo also pledged to use certified wood and oppose illegal deforestation.

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