To begin weaving click on the loom and choose four conceptual threads
Click on the concepts to view the related photographic haiku
We are seeing that an economy based on the exploitation of natural resources is like extracting the bones and blood of human beings or looting the scalp, which is irreplaceable.
We are well aware the Mother Earth is another living being like us.
By using a variety of native plants to build, clean and retain the soil we have seen that ecological restoration can be accomplished in as little as 10 years.
We used to have 400 different species of trees in the valley of Cusco, many parts of the Andes were evergreen, but now we only have a few dozen tree species left.
From the moment I took my first steps in life, I realized I had to pass on the culture of my ancestors. I have tried to evoke the concept of respecting all biodiversity which is so paramount in the high Andes.
We have been teaching at schools with biologists, teaching children how to take care of the lakes, plants, and animals. We have little support so it is difficult, but the children are starting to teach their elders at home.
Young people go to Lima. Why this migration? They leave due to lack of opportunities. One of the reasons is the lack of water. Now we can’t have big farming areas and even cattle is greatly reduced.
Humans think money is everything. We know this is not right. When the earth gives no more, and you can’t plant anything, are they going to eat their money?
Many people believe that development only comes from economic gain. This thinking causes irreversible damage because it is wrong, you cannot buy nature. Our consciousness has to evolve, it is on this type of development that humanity depends.
Forests have been pillaged. The mountains are losing their perennial snow. In 20 years we will have conflicts over the water.
That’s why we are planting trees, to take care of the lakes, but we are too few doing this.
We need to work, we need to become conscious, we need to transmit the knowledge of our ancestors and all the people that are interested can help me with this purpose.
I will tell you about my community. From 1960 to 1980, there was too much winter and plenty of water, then from1990 on we had a drought that lasted for 3 years. After that, the winters left and they never were the same again.
If these problems don’t get sorted, this will soon be a ghost town.
The ancient ones were the first astrologers and geologists, the first farmers and technicians, and they left us a whole irrigation system built with infiltration channels. There was a culture of tribute to water, that we have to recover.
Then plastic technology and plastic culture came overnight. Nowadays, everything that we buy is in a plastic bag and the water is being poisoned with trash.
At the Circuit of the Four Lakes we have done an environmental treatment, but this is like a small point on your body and we are talking about the earth.
We do this work because we like to reward our Mother Earth because she feeds us and she nourishes all human beings. We are very few, but we do it with great heart.
500 years ago we Incans had a strong clash, a cultural clash. Our indigenous culture almost vanished completely. Since then we have been overshadowed by becoming more and more indifferent to nature.
Traditional knowledge is, for example, the ceremony for mother earth. It’s a small compensation that is done twice a year.
The indigenous cultures of the Americas, from Alaska to Patagonia, are cultures that respect their circular area, their biodiversity. It shows that we still have certain understanding of nature to this day. We are trying to protect and restore the land, the few of us who still identify with nature.
What we need to learn now is to coexist with nature. We now have extreme environmental pollution and global warming. This is a warning, and it has been foreseen that water is going to extinguish.
We are not going to believe this because we have the ability to conserve and store our water. Today we have to re-encounter the landscape and I think it is our task to teach young people to return to nature and water.
I congratulate you for the recovery of these canal systems and tribute ceremonies. That are very important not only for this community, but since these waters reach the sea, they bathe many lands down to the shore and provide many other villages with water.
Water. Water is everything.
Feel it running through your veins. For a brief second imagine thirst.
The world is beginning to dry, it is time to act.
Resilience is a new media documentary that weaves together community-based watershed restoration stories from the remote Peruvian Andes. The Resilience interface acts as a loom that creates a fabric out of a collection of short films (2 minutes or less).
This content is organized along different conceptual threads which can be woven together to create unique patterns in the story fabric. Each conceptual thread is tied to a photographic haiku. Haiku is a form of Zen poetry characterized by three lines, two contrasting ideas and a connecting point.
The Resilience haiku are written with cautionary and empowering statements made by activists in the high Andes. They are visualized with photographs taken in each community’s context and woven together with threads of archival images of glaciers and snow pack in the Peruvian Andes taken in the 1920’s.
The quotes and photographs come together to create a patterned fabric that invites contemplation of the topic and its relationship to ecological resilience.
This expanded documentary project explores humanity’s potential to be resilient amidst extreme drought conditions and unprecedented ecological change through the warp and weft of empowering stories of struggle and transformation.
Maria Ramos, Teacher
Ferro Jimenez de La Rosa, President of Huamantanga
Huamantanga community members
Huamantanga District, Rio Chillon Watershed, Peru
Severe drought in summer months
Restoring an ancient Incan canal system that re-directs water during the winter from ravines to more permeable soils, replenishing ground water.
Luis Delgado, Community organizer
Sandra Delgado, Community organizer
Dr. Percy Nuñez, Indigenous botanist, PhD
Acopia District, Four Circuit Lakes Watershed, Peru
Water pollution, dry infertile soils
Restore native trees and plants & clean up large amounts of trash (6 tons)
1 million tree goal, 23,320 planted
We all belong to a watershed. A watershed is an area of land that drains rain water or snow into one location such as a stream, river, lake or wetland.
Far from being isolated bodies or conduits, freshwater ecosystems are tightly linked to eachother by the watersheds of which each is a part. What happens in one part of the watershed will impact the water quality, quantity, and people downstream.
Watersheds are the home to untold number of species and provide life-sustaining waters to all of humanity.
The Chillón River is a vital source of water for Lima, Peru. Lima is the second largest desertt city in the world with a population of 9.6 million and growing.
Its headwaters are located on the western slopes of La Viuda (The Widow) Mountain Range, in the Pucracocha, Aguascocha and Chuchón lagoons, at approximately 15,091 feet. These lagoons are glacier fed and are used to store water during the summer months. This water is then discharged between May and December, when the river’s flow is at its lowest level and much of the region experiences drought like conditions.
The watershed covers an area of 943 square miles. The lagoons and wetlands within this watershed are among the most diverse ecosystems in the desert with a high number of species found nowhere else in the world, and provide environmental services that are crucial for the quality of life of millions of people.
Of the three valleys that Lima is built on, the Chillón Valley holds the largest agricultural lands and the main crops grown here are corn, cotton, tomato, potatoes, grasses and fruits.
The Vilacanota River is one of the main sources of water for the Amazon River basin and it flows through the heart of the historical Incan Empire, past the famous site of Macchu Picchu.
Vilacanotas’ headwaters originates from Khunurana mountain in the La Raya mountain range, at approximately 17,782 ft. The river is fed by retreating glaciers and flows North-North west for 723 miles, turning into the Urubamaba River before joining the Tambo River to form the Ucayali River which then joins the mighty Amazon River.
Vilacanota is the source of water for hundreds of densely settled farming communities along its route and is considered sacred by the indigenous Quechua people of the high Andes.
The Vilacanota Valley (with the Sacred Valley of the Incas at its center) has been shown to be undergoing warming and increased rates of glacier retreat. As a result the potato farmers in the region are cultivating at higher and higher elevations and many plants and animals are slowly migrating upwards.
Kelly Skye is a multimedia artist, filmmaker and ecologist. Her work explores expanded forms of documentary film and photography. Through these mediums she works to co-create visions of ecological resilience that are based on ideas of systems thinking and embedded interdependence. Her guiding intention is to support community-based efforts to restore and protect life-sustaining ecologies.kelly-skye.com
Joor Baruah, interactive documentary consultant
Steve Sunderland, web developer & design consultant
Newton and Helen Harrison
Ferrero Jimenez de la Rosa
Kristen Grace Erickson
University of California Santa Cruz, Digital Arts & New Media program
University of California Institute for Research in the Arts
A special thank you to my loving mom Louria Batson and supportive stepfather John Batson.