Stories & Songs of the Amazon, 360° Documentary

In July, my partner and I will travel to Peru into the Amazon rainforest. We’ll be filming a series of short 360° documentaries about the stories and medicine songs, or ikaros, of Shipibo healers indigenous to the Ucayali region of the Amazon.

The Shipibo have deeply artistic and spiritual cultural traditions that are still very much alive today, but are rapidly being marginalized in the wake of Westernization, urban sprawl, environmental destruction, and increasing poverty. As protectors of the Amazon rainforest for millennia, Shipibo healers, or curanderos, possess vast wisdom relating to environmental stewardship and physical, mental, and emotional healing through their knowledge of medicinal plant remedies. They also continue to practice their traditions of textile art, pottery, and singing, whose masterful techniques have been passed down for countless generations.

We are 2 independent filmmakers and sound designers who want to create a new platform for Shipibo voices. We’ll be living in the Amazon rainforest for 2 months, filming interviews with Shipibo healers and recording them singing their ikaros. We’ve already obtained permission from interviewees and have our accommodations figured out.

To truly capture the magic of the Amazon, we will be creating a 360° film series on YouTube so that viewers can experience a level of immersion and emotional connection impossible to achieve with traditional audiovisual methods. We believe that by documenting songs and stories of Shipibo healers, we can bring attention to their culture, the Amazon rainforest, and the challenges they both face today.

Funded by Awesome Without Borders (June 2017)