Espécie bandeira (Flagship species), 2022


In collaboration of the Mateo Inurria Art School, Córdoba

Espécie bandeira (Flagship species) is the result of an educational workshop conceived by the Brazilian artist Rivane Neuenschwander. Consisting of an evolving compilation of double-sided flags, the installation draws attention to the ways in which nature could remake the nation at a time of deep suspicion of growing nationalism and its attendant politics of belonging. Organized around a set of case studies from across the world, the new designs highlight the role of flagship species, which are species designated to be representative of a given territory and chosen to raise awareness of that area’s biodiversity and natural patrimony. Through a creative investigation, the artist encourages participants to explore ways in which flagship species can birth new symbols, and how certain biomes would define the colors and shapes of national emblems. Moreover, the flags open a discussion on the rights of nature paradigm, which identifies landscapes, earth beings, and nonhuman inhabitants as legal entities, thus attributing inherent rights to nature.

To account for the ecological degradation and extractivism that are reshaping ecologies of nationhood, on their reverse side the flags carry references to the logos of companies involved in environmental violence. These emblems gesture at the many struggles that threaten more than-human populations and often escalate beyond the control of governments and lenient international organizations. Issues of exploitation, displacement, privatization, and the pollution of landscapes play a cardinal role in reimagining the import of the rights of nature, commoning, and multi-species conservation. Based on the designs contributed by the workshop participants and the artist, the Espécie Bandeira flags fly high in the exhibition and offer a collective interpretation of nationhood and belonging through the prisms of perspectivism and posthumanism, in contrast to the effects of extractivism and the relentless exploitation of resources on the land and in the deep ocean.

Born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, in 1967. Lives in São Paulo, Brazil.
International Rights of Nature Tribunal 

EJAtlas - Global Atlas of Environmental Justice

Laura Burgers, Jessica den Outer, Emabssy of the Noord Sea. Rights of Nature, Case Studies from Six Continents. Compendium # I. Printed by Zwaan Lenoir, 2021. Here

Complicity in Destruction IV, How Mining Companies and International Investors Drive Indigenous Rights Violations and Threaten the Future of the Amazon. February 22, 2022 | Report by Amazon Watch

Ursula Biemann, Paulo Tavares. Forest Law /Selva Juridica. Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan State University, 2014. Here

Judith Shapiro, John-Andrew McNeish. Our Extractive Age, Expressions of Violence and Resistance. Routledge, 2021. Here

Keller Easterling, Tomato World. Journal of Writing + Building , 2002, No. 4, LANDSCAPES (2002), pp. 116-123. Published by: PRAXIS, Inc. here