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Humanity and Nature are One – Segmento

Humanity and Nature Segmento Joe Zammit Lucia

Humanity and Nature are One, via The Third Ray

Following from the world of advertising and persuasion of last week’s post, I want to present this provocative image courtesy of The Third Ray, a blog by Joe Zammit-Lucia. Mr. Zammit-Lucia is constantly interested in exploring connections between nature and culture beyond traditional labels of environmentalism and notions of “saving the planet”, and his blog focuses on the role of art in shaping “the cultural framework surrounding the sustainable development debate.”

His most recent post takes a look at an image created by a Brazilian ad agency called Segmento. The campaign is titled “Humanity and Nature are One.” I like what Mr. Zammit-Lucia had to say about the concept behind the image:

 Rather than the usual – and largely ineffective – environmental narrative of “Human vs Nature,” this campaign focuses on our inseparable inter-relatedness and inter-dependence. It tries to bring us closer to nature rather than to create artificial separation.

What do you think? Are there any other messages from the image that speak to you?

14 Comments

  1. It’s an interesting image… initially suggesting, to me, that humans support nature rather than vice-versa. I wonder what the agency would have come up with to indicate the opposite!

    • The imagery does convey the notion of support, that the hand is holding up the leaves, doesn’t it? I’m not sure if that was intentional, but it is nevertheless fascinating to see that interpretation. For some reason, I always wished the hand was reaching into the ground instead, the fingers acting as roots in the dirt.

      Thanks for your comment!

  2. The thing about trees is, the trunk and the leaves support each other; the trunk draws water and nutrients from the earth and the leaves convert solar energy and take in carbon dioxide. Humans reach out to nature with their hands to take fruit and other food, and in essence we do as plants do as we reach for the sun, the stars. Plants and the nutrients we absorb from them circulate through our bodies, and form our skin and bones; although the only times we return the favour is with our dung and with our rotting corpses, so it’s very one sided at the moment.

  3. I like the imagery of humans reaching up and out to nature for nourishment. I agree with your assessment that we are engaged in a one-sided relationship right now, that we take much more than we give back. Viewed in this context, it seems that we need to not only slow our destructive tendencies, but to participate in the creation and renewal of the natural world. How we do that is another matter of debate.

  4. It’s a clever image aided by the color of the wrinkled skin which conveys bark so convincingly. I’m not sure how you could rework this picture so that it would imply merging rather than taking from nature. I agree that trying judgmental approaches simply turns people off to any intended message. I had a mental flash to the image of Apollo pursuing Daphne as she morphs into a laurel tree. How many other human/hybrid plant images can you think of?

    • I think the wrinkled textures of the hand as bark is my favourite detail of the image.

      I’ve had a bit of time to think about the taking from nature aspect, and the problem lies in the hand itself. The first thought of the hand is that it is a tool to take – it’s hard to get away from that initial impression. But the other image of the hand is to give – perhaps having the palm face outwards would make it seem less exploitative? There would be less wrinkles to work with though!

      It’s funny you should mention human/plant hyrbids. There is another artist showcased on the Third Ray that depicted just that.

      http://www.thethirdray.com/digital-art/our-relationship-to-our-world-igor-zenin/

  5. Initially the image mad eme think that we were taking nature,then again the hand could also be supporting and indoing so working with nature. The aspect that comes to mind today is that it is simply connection each to the other, or of offering the hand in friendship, caring and healing. Which goes to show we can and do make our own interpretations oand assumptions acording to our personal experiences and belief systmes. nbo one is more “right” thatn another, through our eyes we see the world.

    • It’s amazing how a piece of art can generate such meaning, isn’t it? Thanks very much for sharing the process of your thoughts. Connection, support, reciprocity. So many good and thoughtful connections!

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