Amazon Headwaters

Locals Working Toward the Global


Bruce Farnsworth

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Las cabeceras de las Amazonas: proyectos locales/diseños globales

Small groups of residents across the inhabited rainforests of the upper Amazon region are leading cutting-edge programs in research, conservation, education and sustainable economies. Their stories—in images and testimonials—need to be told.

Amazon Headwaters is a new turn in rainforest documentary coverage, complementing the popular focus on crises with a more positive paradigm, shining the spotlight on successful regional collaborations led by those closest to the land.

Tropical ecologists will tell you that one key to saving the rainforests is integrating the support of communities that adjoin large protected areas.  To encourage this support, local residents will be both the subject of and the first audiences for Amazon Headwaters, beginning with the production of major public exhibits hosted in rainforest gateway communities of Perú, Ecuador and Bolivia.

My photography and multimedia work—facilitated by conservation and media partners in the U.S, Europe and Latin America—will be geared to educational, editorial and exhibition outlets.  With these images, I will promote the contributions of families, women and youth to rainforest solutions, illustrate the application of traditional ecological knowledge in forest management, and feature environmental portraits of many individuals to celebrate their dedication to conservation.

Amazon Headwaters: Locals Working Toward the Global will show the real faces of rainforest protection in the species-rich communities of the upper Amazon.

Project portfolio with captions



Bruce Farnsworth is a fine art and editorial photographer focusing on sustainability and the environment. His feature and assignment credits include such magazines as National Geographic, Smithsonian, High Country News, and The Nature Conservancy, and his work has been exhibited widely.

His intimate and richly textured images are influenced by profound intercultural experiences and university training in zoology, environmentalism and art. While this documentary project focuses on environmental justice, his wildlife images have been honored by the Nature’s Best Windland Rice Smith and BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year competitions.

Farnsworth received the Dakota Resource Council's 2014 Above & Beyond Award for his photography of the Bear Den pipeline spill on behalf of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nations. He is further advancing the use of photography in conservation as a board member of The Biodiversity Group and adviser to the Third Millennium Alliance.

Please visit Fracking: Forgotten on the Bakken to learn the stories behind these images.

To view Farnsworth's first Blue Earth project, please visit Amazon Headwaters and this portfolio.

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