Jessica Suarez is a conservation photographer and filmmaker and a National Geographic Explorer. Through her work, she explores humans’ relationship to the environment, scientific research, wildlife, and wild spaces. Most recently, she can be found in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest and in Atlanta, GA, USA working on conservation multimedia projects. She holds a master's degree in Photography from Syracuse University. She also is the multimedia director and co-founder of the conservation non-profit the Tropical Conservation Fund and a member of Women Photograph.
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September 2, 2021
Jungle Vignettes: The Illustrative Amazon Rainforest
When I first arrived to the Amazon, I had trouble sleeping at night because of the wave of unrecognizable animal sounds that would rise out of the amplifying humidity and darkness. I would dream of venomous and human-eating snakes. The first few times I walked the trails around the research station where I lived, I was convinced that every crash in the forest was some hungry and angry creature.
Loud noises still flush my body with adrenaline and cortisol, but I’ve also come to value the sensation of feeling so alert, more aware than ever before. These images are an effort to make sense of this intimidating and magical place and all the feelings that have surfaced for me while exploring it. Every hike in the Amazon is different from the last, even if the same ground was covered only a few hours before. The jungle is in a constant flux of creating, destroying, decomposing and regenerating. It is impossible to not contemplate death, the fragility of life and what the continued destruction of the Amazon will mean to all of us while experiencing this place. These visual moments are a record of the raw, primal emotions that are evoked from this splendid and endangered expanse of wilderness.