Friday, 23 December 2011

The Ashaninka: Mike Goldwater

Photo © Mike Goldwater-All Rights Reserved
In Focus, the photo blog of The Atlantic magazine, featured The Ashaninka, A Threatened Way of Life; photographs by Mike Goldwater. Be sure to view the photographs in the 1280px option if your monitor allows it.

The Ashaninka are an indigenous people living in the rain forests of Peru and in the State of Acre of Brazil, and are one of the largest indigenous groups in South America. Their number is estimated between 25,000 and 45,000.

Current threats are from oil companies, drug traffickers, colonists, illegal lumberers, illegal roads, conservation groups, missionary groups, and diseases. Roads are being built into the forest to extract mahogany and cedar trees for export to markets in the United States and Europe despite an international embargo. Religious missionary groups are intent on changing Ashaninka culture and belief systems, ignoring the impact on their long term survival.

Mike Goldwater is a photographer, who ran the Half Moon Gallery in London's East End from 1974 to 1980, and who created the magazine "Camerawork". He also co-founded photo agency 'Network Photographers' for photojournalism, documentary photography and corporate work.  He traveled to over 70 countries and his images were published in major magazines around the world.

You may also wish to see Tatiana Cardeal's work on South American indigenous people.