Arutam, Ecuadorian Amazon

by Lisa Kristine


DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 40 x 30 inches (101.6 x 76.2 cm)
SIGNATURE: Signed and numbered 8/25
MEDIUM: Photograph, archival print on photography paper


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    Catalogue No: 4561 Categories: , Tags: , , , ,

    The Shuar Arutam population is made up of about ten thousand people organized into forty-seven small communities. Its territory, of approximately 233 169 hectares, is located in the extreme southeast of Ecuador, in the Cordillera del Cóndor (the Condor Range of the Andes), between the Kuankus and Cenepa rivers, in the Ecuadorian Amazon, and it shares its southern border with Peru. The Cordillera del Condór is one of the most diverse regions of the country, and of the world, for its biodiversity, water and mineral resources, and for the culture and knowledge associated with the Shuar peoples and the mestizos whose ancestral home this is. Since 2016, this area has been devastated by mining and militarisation. Many of the indigenous people have been violently evicted, and have suffered great injustice.

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    A master storyteller, Lisa Kristine documents indigenous cultures in more than 100 countries, on six continents, instinctively identifying the universal human dignity in all of us. Awakening compassion and igniting action in a worldwide audience with

    powerful, broad-sweeping images of courage and suffering, as well as intimate portrayals of human relationships. Lisa’s mission is to elevate the profile of significant social causes; especially that of slavery. Her work touches the viewer’s heart, and moves us to act. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who has endorsed Lisa’s work, said of her photographs that;

    “…We see dignity despite the dire and desperate circumstances. Her work commands a respectful connection between the viewer and the subject, insisting we acknowledge

    the plights of those in bondage, and allowing us to raise a hand to help.”


    Lisa was the sole exhibitor at the 2009 Vancouver Peace Summit, attended by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other prominent Nobel Prize winners. Lisa has enabled facilitated change for many of the causes that she champions. Christie’s New York, in celebration with Kofi Annan, has auctioned her images to benefit the United Nations. Furthermore, the Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Queen Mother of Bhutan and Amnesty International, have all both endorsed her work.


    In 2013, Lisa was the recipient for the Lucie Foundation’s 2013 Humanitarian Award that recognizes achievements of master photographers. Her photographs inspired the Make a Stand Lemonade movement, which has raised more than a million US dollars and has enlightened the awareness of over 100 million people towards the cause for eradication of modern day slavery. In December 2014 she was invited to the Vatican to join Pope Francis and 25 of the world’s faith leaders who signed the declaration to eradicate slavery by 2020.


    Lisa has gained broad recognition for her collaboration with the NGO Free the Slaves. Her breath-taking body of slavery related photographic work; is brought together in ‘Slavery,’ published in 2010. Lisa has received global attention for shining a light on contemporary slavery across media platforms, including CNN and Reuters, speaking at TED events, museums, NGO’s, business conferences, colleges and universities.  Her countless accolades and achievements are testament to the beauty of the photographs she takes, as well as the power of her humanitarian work. She has published 5 books and has been the subject of 4 documentaries. Her work on Slavery has been featured in three films released in 2014. One of these films, SOLD the movie, made by Oscar Award winning team, Emma Thompson and Jeffrey Brown, includes a character inspired by Lisa and played by Gillian Anderson.


    Lisa Kristine’s work not only brings taboo social atrocities to light, but also has a softer side. Images such as this one provide a window into some of the most beautiful places on earth, the traditions of indigenous cultures, and are always a celebration of colour.



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