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Digital Mural Project: Lou Dematteis and Spectral Q

Sunday, February 1, 2009 - Sunday, March 15, 2009

A digital photograph by photo documentarian Lou Demmatteis and Spectral Q. The image documents a united effort by people effected by the oil industry of Texaco/Chevron, in the Ecuadorian Rainforest. Pictured are members of a once pristine area speaking out against the injustice caused by the contamination and environmental disregard of the oil industry.

Lou Dematteis Artist Statement In 1993, I traveled to the Ecuadoran Amazon to investigate reports of extensive environmental damage and contamination as a result of large-scale oil development by the U.S. oil company Texaco (now Chevron). During that trip, a doctor from Ecuador’s Ministry of Health told me that the region was sitting on a time bomb as a result of the toxic contamination dumped and left in the environment by Texaco’s oil drilling and production operations. He told me it would take ten years for cancers and other serious health conditions to begin manifesting themselves, but once they did we would see them all over the place. When I returned to the region in 2003 after an absence of ten years, I found that the time bomb had exploded. Everywhere I turned, it seemed, I encountered people with cancer, birth defects and other serious health problems. I was determined to help give voice to the people who are living this tragedy. I hope that the photographs and testimonies in my book “Crude Reflections: Oil, Ruin and Resistance in the Amazon Rainforest” help to do that. Lou Dematteis


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