‘Birds and Plants of The Dry Forest’, Feprobosur Dry Forest Organisation, Azua, Dominican Republic (1997)
While staying with my brother, an NGO worker in the small village of Azua, I met a group of campesinos and the next thing I knew, I had agreed to help them paint the walls of their new office! We projected their company’s tree logo on to the wall, and then added plants and animals found in the local dry forest. The flora and fauna depicted were drawn from real life sketches and a visit to a neglected natural history museum in Santo Domingo, where I found some moth-eaten taxidermy specimens!
FEPROBOSUR: Federación de Productores del Bosque Seco, is a cooperative of peasant farmers who had been scraping a living by making charcoal from the wood of the dry forests. The aim of the cooperative was to improve their income by selling wood at higher prices for other purposes (such as fence posts) whilst also managing the forests in a sustainable way. By setting up their own sales channel, they were able to cut out middlemen and significantly enhance the incomes of rural peasant families.