artists and charity carve giant SOS out of palm oil plantation in sumatra
 

artists and charity carve giant SOS out of palm oil plantation in sumatra

the distress cry gives a voice to the wildlife and vegetation of the sumatran rainforests. ernest zacharevic looked out his plane window, at the ongoing destruction of indonesia’s forests, at the demise of iconic species like the sumatran orangutan, at the palm oil plantation. in his head, he saw parts of the landscape flatten to form an aerial message — SOS.  

ernest zacharevic SOS
image by ernest zacharevic

 

 

there are only 14,600 orangutans remaining in the wild in sumatra. at the end of 2017, cosmetics company lush partnered with conservation charity, sumatran orangutan society (SOS). together, they launched the #SOSsumatra campaign movement across europe. lush made 14,600 soaps, which flew off the shelves in france, germany, italy, spain, netherlands, sweden, austria, ireland, belgium, norway, czech republic, finland, luxembourg, portugal, estonia, switzerland and the UK, selling out in a matter of days, raising £126,014. the proceeds enabled the orangutan information center to buy 5,000 acres of oil palm plantation land. they reclaimed and restored native forest to an area on the edge of the leuser ecosystem, in bukit mas, sumatra.

ernest zacharevic SOS
image by ernest zacharevic

 

 

‘this part of the forest was under attack,’ said helen buckland, director of the sumatran orangutan society, ‘with more and more orangutan habitat being lost every week as illegal agriculture encroached into the protected area. by supporting us to buy this land on the buffer zone of the national park, lush and their customers are enabling us to hold back, and reverse, the tide of forest loss.’

ernest zacharevic SOS
image by skaiste kazragyte

 

 

in 2017, zacharevic curated a series of projects in sumatra as part of splash and burn — an art initiative run with SOS. SOS raised awareness in regards to issues affecting the community, including consumerism, climate change and the ever fleeting wildlife population. for their latest dialogue opener, splash and burn challenged the idea of ‘art’ as an abstract gesture, turned acres into a canvas for change, and physically altered the sumatran landscape to reflect what it would be saying, if it could communicate back to us: save our souls.

ernest zacharevic SOS
image by tan wei ming

ernest zacharevic SOS
image by skaiste kazragyte

ernest zacharevic SOS
image by skaiste kazragyte

ernest zacharevic SOS
image by tan wei ming

ernest zacharevic SOS
image by ernest zacharevic

ernest zacharevic SOS
image by ernest zacharevic

  • Guys commenting above – you should make a distinction between ancient forest, and newly planted forest. The first is a complex ecosystem, the destruction of which leads to the loss of endemic species. There are no endangered orangutans in Europe, neither endangered gibbons and many other endangered superb species, as there are in Indo. They were cutting the old palm oil plantation into an SOS as part of reclaiming it for ape habitat. Europe and the West should be paying Indo to not cut ancient forest habitats, thats the truth. And you all should stop buying dodgy palm oil products.

    Pepi
  • Why not rather plant tress in the shape of an SOS instead.

    Jacobus
  • Ernest Zacharevic and every European whitey tree-hugger better spend their money to reforest their barren land to match Indonesia’s 51% forest cover and Malaysia’s 67.6%. Charity begins at home, and leading by example is the most effective eco-sermon or enviro-activism.

    hypocrite.buster

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