Splash & Burn
Art Film - Awareness Campaign - 2019
Directed by Ernest Zacharevic & Nicholas Chin
Splash and Burn’s campaign against conflict palm oil continues as they teamed up with artist-activist Escif, to carve a ‘Rewind’ symbol into a palm oil plantation in Sumatra.
The site of the artwork is a new forest restoration site covering 360 hectares, located on the borders of the Leuser Ecosystem, one of the most bio-diverse places on Earth.
The artwork suggests a way of 'turning back the clock' on deforestation by reclaiming barren land and returning it to the rainforest. The artwork is accompanied by the film 'Rewild'.
In the short film, the narrative runs in reverse, rewinding the clock on deforestation to undo the damage caused by the unsustainable production of one of the worlds most versatile commodities - palm oil. Reversing the industrialisation of the land, the film ends at the beginning;
a thriving ecosystem alive with wildlife.
The soundtrack Doa Dari Tanah (a prayer from the soil), by Indonesian composer Nursalim Yadi Anugerah, is inspired by a prayer ritual called “Nyangahatn” from the Kanayatn people in West Kalimantan. The energy and sound of a prayer incantation from human beings is translated into the drama of the music, juxtaposed with the use of unusual objects to make sounds.
"The idea of going back, of rewinding, is an invitation to reconnect to ourselves; to recover awareness and respect for our Earth, which is the ecosystem we are part of."
The film concept mirrors the real world action of the Sumatran Orangutan Society and their partners in reclaiming land on the borders of the Leuser rainforests to rewild them with indigenous trees and to restore the wildlife found in the Leuser ecosystem. A hopeful message symbolising that it is not too late to reclaim our fate and make meaningful change.
Through raising the alarm about the loss of these precious ecosystems and biodiversity, and sharing the positive impacts that front-line conservation groups are having in reversing this decline, we can build optimism and activism to support the long-term protection of Sumatra’s wild places and all the lives which depend on them.
While staying close to the issue of palm oil, Rewild is also inspired by the upcoming UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, reflecting on the warning that we have just 12 years before climate change reaches a point that would trigger a global catastrophe.
The film was announced on the billboards at London's Oxford Street.
This project was made with support from and in collaboration with: