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Splash & Burn

Documentary - Awareness Campaign - 2018
Directed by Ernest Zacharevic & Nicholas Chin
Portuguese Street Artist Alexandre Farto aka Vhils carved an image of the endangered Tapanuli Orangutan in the city center of Medan, Indonesia. With this video comes an urgent petition to the Indonesian president to take action in cancelling a new dam construction project and save the species from inevitable extinction.

In early November 2017, scientists announced the discovery of a new species of Great Ape in Sumatra: the Tapanuli Orangutan. With only 800 left, this is the most endangered Great Ape species in the world. 


The Tapanuli Orangutan resides in the Batang Toru Forest in Northern Sumatra. 85% of this forest complex is protected under Indonesian Law, but due to the lack of enforcement, there have been incursions in the land such as unregulated practices of palm oil farming. This had a widespread negative impact, leading to forest fires, deforestation, human displacement and a decrease in wildlife populations.


This rain forest is now the site planned for a 510MW hydro-power dam, financed with overseas investment, that could result in the extinction of this species of Great Ape.

Panut Hadisiswoyo, the founding director of Orangutan Information Centre

"Unfortunately, orangutan’s Tapanuli is very critically endangered because the number of the species is only around 800 and there are currently many threats such as hydro dam that is currently being built that has destroyed their habitat and this is really worrying"

As part of the Splash and Burn campaign, this documentary covers the intervention by Alexandre Farto aka Vhils, the 9th artist to participate in the environmental campaign, which calls attention to the production of palm oil in Southeast Asia. Addressing the unsustainable effects both locally and globally.

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