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30 June 2020updated 03 Aug 2021 6:45am

How Prints for Communities is supporting indigenous groups against Covid-19

As the threat posed by the pandemic to indigenous people grows, a one-month print sale provides the opportunity to help those affected. 

By Gerry Brakus

The Covid-19 pandemic poses a grave health threat to indigenous people around the world – and with the virus spreading into remote territories of the Amazon, it shows no signs of abating.

If Not Us Then Who, an NGO dedicated to helping these communities, is working harder than ever to bring their plight to a wider audience. “Indigenous communities are in a constant fight to protect their ancestral land and the forests with which they have a deep knowledge and empathy,” says a representative for the charity. “They see themselves as the guardians of the forest and the protectors of these vital ecosystems.”

As the situation in Brazil worsens and it becomes more difficult to record the cases of those affected by Covid-19, the charity has become increasingly aware of the need to raise further funds to support the indigenous communities around the world. Gathering indigenous artists and photographers who have long worked with indigenous people, If Not Us Then Who have arranged a sale of stunning prints, the proceeds of which will all go directly to supporting neglected communities who urgently need help. 

[See more: Nobody to call: the plight of indigenous suicide in Alaska]

“To us, the land is our mother, the forest is our father and the water is our blood; they give us everything that we need,” says Kynan Tegear, 15, a photographer and filmmaker from the Sungai Utik in Borneo. “For this reason, we need to do everything that we can to save it.”

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As the Kofan leader from Ecuador recently wrote, “This pandemic is an opportunity to reflect and grow a deeper understanding and connection to life, to each other, to Mother Earth herself.” 

The Prints for Communities sale opened on 22 June and ends 22 July. To see a wider selection, donate and read more about the project, go to www.prints.ifnotusthenwho.me/


“Look Out” by Joel Redman
Quilombola community, Atlantic rainforest, south-east Brazil


“Hoang Lien Mountains, Vietnam” by Ian Teh


“Araweté woman” by Alice Kohler
Painted in urucum dye to protect against mosquitos and to feel beautiful


“Paris #2, 2007” by Kalpesh Lathigra
Pine Ridge Reservation, Oglala Sioux tribe


“Watching for Bowheads” by Kiliii Yuyan
North Alaska


“Untitled #3” by Laurence Ellis
Tres Fronteras region of the Amazon basin


“Jameson’s Mamba” by Hugh Kinsella Cunningham
Équateur province, DR Congo


“Untitled #3” by Nick Ballon
The sustainable life of Quechuan farming community in El Choro, Bolivia


“Grand Canyon (Night)” by Carlotta Candana


“Spirituality” by Edgar Kanayko
 Xakriabá tribe, south-east Brazil 


“Mutis Honey Hunter” by Nanang Sujana
West Timor, Indonesia


“Grandma’s Hands” by Kali Spritzer


“Untitled #3” by Rosie Marie Cromwell
A student picks a flower during the Miccosukee tribe’s bi-annual water survey


“Sunrise over Copataza Community, Ecuador” by Pablo Albarenga

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Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team.
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