Making waves at Rio

Note from Priscilla: This is the second of my posts from the Rio+20 Earth Summit. You can read the full post here.

It was an art installation made by 1500 bodies—a huge painting on a canvas of silky sand at the Flamengo Beach in Rio next to the People’s Summit.

Amazon Watch sponsored the event, and it was coordinated by aerial artist John Quigley, working from an image created by artists of Brazil’s 235 indigenous peoples. Tribal leaders nominated the artists, who worked together for several months to choose the message and design the image.

Want to know how these huge aerial designs get put together? I did too! So I showed up ahead of time and got in on the setup.

Beach with orange string marking the design

Here is the beach a little past noon: volunteers from and other orgs are setting orange flags in orange tape in the sand, following John’s directions.

Volunteers laying down the orange tape on the beach

Shortly after 1:00 the people start to arrive: first dozens, then hundreds. Here’s John explaining what’s going to happen.

People gathering to take their places on the orange tape lines

Members of Brazil’s indigenous groups file into the picture first.

Indigenous people in traditional dress of grass skirts and headdresses filing onto the beach to take their places on the orange tape.

Line of Indigenous men in grass skirts, red armbands, red beaded chest pieces, and yellow headdresses standing in line on the beach.

Indigenous women in turquoise bikinis and skirts, beaded neckaces, and red, yellow, and green headdresses standing in line on the beach.


One Response to Making waves at Rio

  1. Wonderful photos.