An exhibition in memory of the murdered Guardian journalist Dom Phillips and indigenous expert Bruno Pereira opens on Sunday ahead of an international conference on saving the Amazon rainforest which is being held next month.
The two men were killed in Brazilian Amazonia in June 2022 while researching a book Phillips was writing called How to Save the Amazon.
An exhibition goes on display at Halton Mill this Sunday 30 October, and will be opened by Phillips’ sister, Lancaster musician, Sian Phillips.
It has been put together by Halton Mill, a low carbon co-working and event space, in partnership with Lancaster University environment centre and Lancaster city council. It is part of a month of activities about the Amazon taking place in and around Lancaster, commemorating Phillips and Pereira.
The conference – held on 19 and 20 November in Lancaster in the north-west of England, as well as online – promises to bring together journalists, environmental campaigning organisations and activists. It will highlight Phillips’ urgent message that there are many sustainable ways to avert the collapse of Amazon ecosystem, if we act now.
The exhibition will be on display at Halton Mill for a month and then it will be available to tour around the UK. The exhibition can also be shared electronically with environmental organisations, educational institutions and community groups signing up to the conference.
Most of the events are free and donations are invited which will go to a fund set up by the families of Phillips and Pereira to support the Indigenous Defenders of the Rainforest in the Javari Valley, where the two men were killed.
Coorganiser Fiona Frank, who has spent time in Peruvian Amazonia, said: “I’ve played music with Sian in Lancaster for 15 years and she’s my choir leader. I was devastated when the news about her brother emerged. I was inspired to turn my emotion to action by a tweet from a Brazilian journalist, Chico Pinheiro, who wrote in June: ‘You can’t kill an idea! They buried Dom and Bruno: buried, the seeds sprout, become leafy trees and the forests appear’.”
Speakers at the conference include Dr Nelly Marubo, who worked with Bruno Pereira for four years in Funai, the Brazilian agency for Indigenous people; and Dr James Fraser, who researches sustainable farming, social justice and biodiversity conservation. There will also be a round table with journalists working in the Amazon and a chance to hear about work in the Amazon being done by campaigning organisations Survival International and Cool Earth.