This artist is showcasing a new form of graffiti to shed light on deforestation.

When Philippe Echaroux, a French street artist, heard about how deforestation is affecting the Surui tribe in the Brazilian Amazon, he decided to throw a massive spotlight on it — literally.

One of several portraits of Surui tribe members. Photo by Philippe Echaroux, used with permission.

He did this by creating portraits of Surui tribe members, then projecting them in light, using the Amazon as his canvas. He calls this method of painting trees with light Street Art 2.0 because it goes beyond spray-painting a wall; it allows him to put a powerful message anywhere without doing any damage and take it down as quickly as he put it up.


In this case, the project's message is as simple and powerful as the portraits themselves. As Echaroux explains: "When you cut down a tree, it's like putting down a man."

He chose members of the Surui tribe as the focus of the project because the tribe is being directly affected by deforestation.

Photo by Philippe Echaroux, used with permission.

How bad is deforestation in Brazil? Here's what parts of the Brazilian Amazon look like today:

Northern Brazil. Photo by Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images.

For the Surui tribe, whose reserve is about the size of Rhode Island, the fight for land is often unfair — going back to 1969, when the Brazilian government lured them out of their rainforest home, according to the Washington Post. That infringement on the Surui's land caused disease to spread, food supplies to dwindle, and homes to be destroyed, all of which resulted in a population drop from 5,000 to just above 250.

The tribe has been fighting to preserve what little of their rainforest habitat it has left ever since. Today, that means trying to stop illegal logging — one of the main causes of deforestation in Brazil, according to Scientific American.

In 2007, the current Surui chief, Almir Narayamoga Surui, launched an innovative and high-tech plan to curtail illegal logging.

Photo by Philippe Echaroux, used with permission.

The tribe, whose population has rebounded to 1,350, uses Google Earth to monitor such illegal activity and report it to the authorities, ABC News reported. But 1,500 square miles of rainforest is rather expansive for one small tribe to keep tabs on, so, despite their best efforts, deforestation continues to eat away at their land.

That's why, Echaroux says, Chief Almir called on him to bring Street Art 2.0 to the Amazon, where his art "could help them be known, and make their difficulties known too."

The message Echaroux is illuminating on the Amazon is meant to make the world realize deforestation is an epidemic, and that the Surui are some of its human victims.

Photo by Philippe Echaroux, used with permission.

We lose 46,000-58,000 square miles of forest each year.

That's about 48 football fields every minute, according to the World Wildlife Fund. In that way, there couldn't be a more perfect medium for this artistic call to action.

Photo by Philippe Echaroux, used with permission.

This is the first time Echaroux has used his work to elevate an environmental issue, and he hopes the message inspires people to constructively help curtail deforestation efforts.

Photo by Philippe Echaroux, used with permission.

There are a lot of ways you can do this in your daily life, whether it's making a concerted effort to eat and use more local and sustainable foods (here's a handy guide for how to find them) or reducing your wood consumption as much as possible (and when you do have to buy paper, buying the kind with the highest recyclable content).

If you want to help the Surui directly, you can go to their website and sign a petition to stop illegal logging in the Brazilian Amazon. Or if you want to learn how to help the other indigenous tribes affected by deforestation in the Amazon, Survival International is a great resource. The fight to preserve the rainforests is an ongoing battle for many indigenous tribes, and it's one that shows no signs of slowing. They need all the help they can get to protect their resources and homes.

The Surui may be one small tribe, but their conservation struggle is emblematic of cultures the world over. Hopefully these brightly lit creations will help make that abundantly clear.

True

This year more than ever, many families are anticipating an empty dinner table. Shawn Kaplan lived this experience when his father passed away, leaving his mother who struggled to provide food for her two children. Shawn is now a dedicated volunteer and donor with Second Harvest Food Bank in Middle Tennessee and encourages everyone to give back this holiday season with Amazon.

Watch the full story:

Over one million people in Tennessee are at risk of hunger every day. And since the outbreak of COVID-19, Second Harvest has seen a 50% increase in need for their services. That's why Amazon is Delivering Smiles and giving back this holiday season by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Second Harvest to feed those hit the hardest this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local food bank or charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

Sometimes it seems like social media is too full of trolls and misinformation to justify its continued existence, but then something comes along that makes it all worth it.

Apparently, a song many of us have never heard of shot to the top of the charts in Italy in 1972 for the most intriguing reason. The song, written and performed by Adriano Celentano and is called "Prisencolinensinainciusol" which means...well, nothing. It's gibberish. In fact, the entire song is nonsense lyrics made to sound like English, and oddly, it does.

Occasionally, you can hear what sounds like a real word or phrase here and there—"eyes" and "color balls died" and "alright" a few times, for example—but it mostly just sounds like English without actually being English. It's like an auditory illusion and it does some super trippy things to your brain to listen to it.

Plus the video someone shared to go with it is fantastic. It's gone crazy viral because how could it not.

Keep Reading Show less
True

A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.
via Twins Trust / Twitter

Twins born with separate fathers are rare in the human population. Although there isn't much known about heteropaternal superfecundation — as it's known in the scientific community — a study published in The Guardian, says about one in every 400 sets of fraternal twins has different fathers.

Simon and Graeme Berney-Edwards, a gay married couple, from London, England both wanted to be the biological father of their first child.

"We couldn't decide on who would be the biological father," Simon told The Daily Mail. "Graeme said it should be me, but I said that he had just as much right as I did."

Keep Reading Show less
via Nick Hodge / Twitter and Jlhervas / Flickr

President-elect Joe Biden has sweeping plans for expanding LGBTQ rights when he takes office in January 2021. Among them, a plan to reverse Donald Trump's near ban on allowing transgender people to serve in the military.

In 2016, President Obama allowed transgender individuals to serve openly in the U.S. military and have access to gender-affirming psychological and medical care.

However, the Trump administration reversed course in 2017, when Trump dropped a surprise tweet saying the military "cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail."

Keep Reading Show less