Casandra Sabag is an artist and visual anthropologist interested in artistic creation, anthropological research and the dissemination of knowledge through teaching, design and multimedia projects. She is studying for a doctorate in Modern Literature and works in a collective called the Audiovisual Sindicate. She currently lives in Mexico City.
“Selvasapara.com is an anthropological and multimedia interpretation of the life and dreams of the Sapara community in the Ecuadorian Amazon. A group of men and women who today protect their territory from the arrival of two oil wells that endanger millenary medicinal knowledge, the Sapara language and the dreamlike life of this unique jungle in the world.
In October 2017, a team of three people entered the Sapara jungle: Rafaela Palacios (gender expert), Casandra Sabag and Paúl Narváez (visual anthropologists and members of Sindicato Audiovisual Union). We were received by thirteen people from four communities. We went in to document and record stories about the dreams and relationships to the plant spirits and to create an educational tool for the community school, which for the first time had access to the internet.
The representation of the figures on the platform reflects our interpretation. It is a non-neutral mediation between the knowledge and memories of the fathers, the hypermedia and the potential users. For this, we wanted to move away from the photographic image because of its historical charge towards verisimilitude, as well as from the tourist image of the Amazon. So we decided not to show an image that pretends reality and/or objectivity. The illustration allowed us to assume the fictionalization as a visual narrative way adding our voices and experience and those of the community.”