Exploring the world's river, coastal and forest biomes, engaging local communities, searching for questions, listening for answers, imagining solutions

About

Founded in 2022, The BioCultural Institute was created as a "safe space" for relationships, ideas, and potential strategies to develop outside of the sometimes formulaic or limiting assumptions of traditional institutional structures. BCI developed as an outgrowth of a project which began in 2021, entitled "Origins:Amazonia," an effort to create a broad narrative for a U.S. and international audiences of the Amazon, its geography, biodiversity and diverse indigenous communities.

Scientist and researchers, members of academia, chefs, historians, musicians, artists, photographers, environmentalists, activists, NGOs, politicians and many others need a forum to interact within. BCI is one of those spaces, virtual and physical, where people with similar interests can meet, hold communion, and engage in dialogue in order that the essential questions that really need to be asked might be uncovered/discovered and forged together. "We have to explore, observe, witness, make an effort to understand what the actual issues are before we formulate questions and suggest solutions. That means first listening to perspectives of indigenous and other local communities perceive as essential, actual priorities, rather than entering a cultural landscape we really don't fully understand with solutions we've developed in a scientific, academic, social or political vacuum," comments Dana Honn, one of BCI's founders. "At the end of the day, so many indigenous communities around the world, especially in what we call isolated or developing regions, are a sick as they can be with outside "experts" and organizations coming in and telling them what they need. Almost without exception, they know what they need, because they know what they've lost, not to mention who took it from them. So we need to listen, maybe that's how can we make up for the fuck ups of centuries of bumbling colonial violence and destruction," continues Honn.

BioCultural Institute Co-founder. Christina do Carmo Honn observing the Amazonian rainforest canopy from a station near Manaus.