BANGKOK, Thailand — The Pulitzer Center will host the Our Roots, Our Forest art exhibition at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC) November 29-December 12, 2022. The exhibition will spotlight underreported stories about the rainforests through the work of regional artists responding to the change they are witnessing around them.
Southeast Asia is home to nearly 15 percent of the world’s tropical forests and 20 percent of global plant, animal, and marine species. But the region also has one of the world’s highest rates of deforestation, losing 1.2 percent of rainforest annually from 2013.
In the Mekong—Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam—the people are up against major challenges: big business, huge infrastructural plans, and weak governance as money is extracted from shared forest resources, and natural defenses from dangerous carbon dioxide levels are hacked back and sold.
Inspired by the climate crisis reporting supported by the Pulitzer Center, this exhibition of paintings, sculpture, and film will ignite a conversation between art and journalism about the past, present, and future of Southeast Asia’s rainforests. The format aims to engage new audiences with this vital issue in a place where creativity meets research and reporting.
“Combining journalism, education and art can help us as a society to better decode climate and environmental narratives. It can help us to learn how to differentiate real from empty narratives that claim to act for the planet and its people, but are nothing but purposeless speeches that don’t lead to transformative policies. Transforming it into an exhibition and retelling rainforest untold stories into art pieces is an amazing chance to bring to the surface one of the most complex and deep side of humankind: our forgotten connection with nature,” said Flora Pereira, the Pulitzer Center's director of the international education and outreach program.
The exhibition is part of the #ShowMeYourTree campaign, a call to action for everyone living in the Mekong region and beyond to defend vital rainforests.
The Our Roots, Our Forest exhibition will showcase a collection of artworks across disciplines from regional artists. Paintings include works of prominent Myanmar artist Chuu Wai, who is living in exile, and Hour Seyha, a Cambodian artist born in a Thai refugee camp.
Curated by Cambodia-based photographer Miguel Jerónimo and Thai writer and climate activist Nanticha Ocharoenchai, there will also be artificial intelligence images as well as a short film about Thailand’s Indigenous community.
As part of the launch event, the Pulitzer Center will also organize a panel discussion titled “Our Roots, Our Forest: Why This Matters Now” on December 1, 2022, at SEA Junction, BACC, third floor, to discuss the past, present, and the future of the vital forests.
The panel discussion will be joined by Patchar Duangklad, SEA Rainforest Journalism Fund (RJF) grantee; Warangkana Rattanarat, Thailand country program director, RECOFTC (Regional Community Forestry Training Center for Asia and the Pacific); and Aphisit Charoensuk, Bang Kloi Indigenous Karen community, Kaeng Krachan, Pechaburi, Morn Mean—Kuy Indigenous Youth group, Kampong Thom, Cambodia.