City Lights Booksellers & Publishers's Reviews > Crude Reflections / Cruda Realidad: Oil, Ruin and Resistance in the Amazon Rainforest

Crude Reflections / Cruda Realidad by Lou Dematteis
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's review
Jul 01, 2008

it was amazing
Read in August, 2009

Crude Reflections/Cruda Realidad chronicles the human and environmental impact of oil drilling in the Ecuadoran Amazon, where the pollution is so extensive that medical experts currently predict thousands of deaths from cancer and the disappearance of five indigenous rainforest communities. Community leaders and doctors already report elevated rates of cancer in the region, as well as birth defects. Photographers Lou Dematteis and Kayana Szymczak have documented the physical and emotional reality of those affected by this toxic contamination, roughly 30 times greater than the more widely reported Exxon Valdez spill.

While the images and testimonies of victims are a central component of the story, the book also documents an uplifting campaign for justice, culminating in a landmark legal case now being adjudicated in Ecuador. This is also the story of a campaign to preserve the as-yet undeveloped southern Amazon, where several indigenous nations are fighting to keep oil drilling off their lands and out of the region. While focusing on one geographic region, Crude Reflections makes a statement about the need for safe environmental practices and the importance of preservation in the Amazon basin and throughout the world.
Text accompanying photos is in Spanish and English.

Praise for Crude Reflections:

"As I viewed each photograph, I felt as if I was stepping into the Amazon rainforest, and the commentary and stories are told in a way that brings meaning not only to the plight of the people of Ecuador, but of all people fighting for environmental justice."
—Jeff Adachi, San Francisco Public Defender

Check out JUSTICIA NOW!, a documentary about ChevronTexaco's toxic legacy in the Northern Ecuadoran region of the Amazon rainforest & a courageous group of people, Los Afectados (The Affected Ones), who are seeking justice for the ensuing cancer, sickness & death in the largest environmental class action lawsuit in history. Featuring Pablo Fajardo, Luis Yanza, Daryl Hannah, John Quigley & Stuart Townsend.

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