AYAHUASCA

In eight short episodes, I share the incredible tale of Joana, who exchanged her life in the city for the Amazon, and take you along on my experience with tribal life. Read the final episode here!

(8/8)

"Before I traveled to the Amazon, I’d been told ayahuasca was used as a ceremonial drug, but never looked up what it entailed: if I was going to participate in any rituals, I’d rather do it without knowing too much about them. I had no clue that ayahuasca is apparently all the rage in Europe—people pay a great deal of money to participate in these rites. Supposedly, it makes you vomit and understand your place in the universe. But here in Acre, I have no idea what’s ahead of me."

read more

ON MOTHERHOOD

DQ1C2745_fatima.jpg

In eight short episodes, I share the incredible tale of Joana, who exchanged her life in the city for the Amazon, and take you along on my experience with tribal life. Stay tuned for all episodes!

(7/8)

"I learn that village life offers Joana one more advantage besides fresh air and financial unburdening: raising her children in a community. A Nukini mother is rarely alone. In fact, no one here gets to be alone much. Homes are communal spaces, and there is no real privacy to speak of. Joana isn’t bothered by this. “I have my room,” she says, “If a neighbor comes calling when I want to be alone, I just keep my mouth shut and pretend I’m not home.”

The mothers I meet are not visibly stressed; a crying child is a rarity. No one is cooped up indoors. Instead, children run free, unsupervised, expending their energy, developing their independence. Older siblings take care of the younger ones. When the 14-year-old Rivaldo stays home alone for a few days, he not only cooks and cleans, but sets out the fishing nets and provides for himself."

read more

 

RIVER CREATURES

In eight short episodes, I share the incredible tale of Joana, who exchanged her life in the city for the Amazon, and take you along on my experience with tribal life. Stay tuned for all episodes!

(6/8)

"The Moa river is far more than a source of food and water; Nukini life is centered around it. The river is our road to the outside world. It's where we bathe, where we play, where we wash away our troubles. Nine-year-old Isaac teaches me how to play frogs and crocodiles, and we keep it up for hours on end.

Whenever I feel overwhelmed or tired, being in the water improves my mood, drastically—even if I’m just doing the dishes. Sitting in the cool mud, surrounded by ducklings scavenging for leftovers, I scrub the pots and watch the glistening suds float away, along with my thoughts."

read more

 

SWEET TOOTH

In eight short episodes, I share the incredible tale of Joana, who exchanged her life in the city for the Amazon, and take you along on my experience with tribal life. Stay tuned for all episodes!

(5/8)

"Their ideas about what is considered healthy are different from ours, and based on what is locally available. Bananas accompany at least half of our meals, but surprisingly, they eat no green vegetables. And I don’t mean few—I mean none.

The people I speak with believe in the health benefits of a traditional diet. There is one aspect of city life they find particularly intolerable: you can only get “bad meat, full of hormones and chemicals,” and the foods don’t “make you strong” like those grown on local soil. When our neighbor Paula soothes my unrelenting stomach ache with a tea of dried orange peel, I learn about their extensive knowledge of plant-based medicine."

read more

JUNGLE EATS

In eight short episodes, I share the incredible tale of Joana, who exchanged her life in the city for the Amazon, and take you along on my experience with tribal life. Stay tuned for all episodes!

4/8

"Living with the Nukini means my focus in life becomes food. Food keeps them occupied—day in and day out. They garden, gather, hunt, fish, cook, eat and repeat. For the first time in my life, I feel like I’m not borderline insane for thinking about food all day, and it feels like coming home.

We eat between four and eight small meals a day, which consist mostly of unadorned ingredients, cooked simply until done. Animals are either grilled over a wood fire, or boiled and served in the resulting broth with a squeeze of lime—a nourishing delight."

read more

 

JUNGLE NIGHTS

In eight short episodes, I share the incredible tale of Joana, who exchanged her life in the city for the Amazon, and take you along on my experience with tribal life. Stay tuned for all episodes!

3/8

"It takes me a week, five flights, and a ten-hour boat ride to reach the Nukini village. Finally, the boat pulls up to Joana’s riverside home and I try to stand—my legs barely allow it. The family’s house is open and spacious and permanently surrounded by mottled ducklings and scrawny chickens. In every direction, the view is green: olive green, emerald green, sea green, pea green, chartreuse, sage. I can only just make out the neighbors past the gardens."

read more

HOW PEDRO FELL IN LOVE WITH A CITY GIRL

In eight short episodes, I share the incredible tale of Joana, who exchanged her life in the city for the Amazon, and take you along on my experience with tribal life. Stay tuned for all episodes!

2/8

"So how do a cosmopolitan scientist and a hunter-gatherer fall in love? The courtship was surprisingly straightforward. They’d visit waterfalls together, he gave her a flower, he even presented her with a little wild pig."

Read more

FROM CITY TO JUNGLE: THE STORY OF JOANA

Meet Joana, the young woman from Rio de Janeiro who left her life in the city in exchange for the jungle. It was her baffling story that led me to the Amazon, where I would learn about life with the Nukini tribe over the past summer.

1/8

"Rio de Janeiro is a city caught between water and rock, a place where nature and concrete violently compete for space. Sleek modern architecture lines the streets, ramshackle homes erupt along the mountainsides, roots and leaves creep through any crevice they can find. Together they form an organically shaped beast, breathing and pulsing in the sweltering heat. This is where Joana grew up—on the very streets where I spent childhood summers with my grandmother. "

Read more

VOLKSKRANT MAGAZINE

Today in Volkskrant Magazine, these and many more images from my recent trip to the Amazon. Over the next few days, the stories behind these photos will be published here. I'll tell the incredible story of Joana, who exchanged a life in the city for the jungle, give you a blow-by-blow of a proper jungle diet, take you along on a mind-bending drug trip, and explain how enjoying the hospitality of kind-hearted strangers changed my perspective on life. Stay tuned!

20 nukini mother 2745.jpg

FOTOKRONIEK: AMAZON TALK

For those who are curious about my recent adventures in the Amazon: next Tuesday I'll be giving a talk about my project Isabella Hunts with a focus on my time with the native Brazilians, for Fotokroniek at Pakhuis de Zwijger. We'll talk about life, love and nausea in the jungle, and viewing new, unpublished work.

Start time: 20:00 / Duration: 1 hour inc. time for Q&A / Language: English / Entrance fee: €5 / reserve tickets here / Location: Pakhuis de Zwijger

VRIJ NEDERLAND SUMMER SPECIAL

For Vrij Nederland's summer issue we shot a series about the recent efforts that are made to save the black-tailed godwit, or grutto. This famous Dutch meadow bird's numbers have been dwindling at an alarming rate due to the destruction of their habitat. Scientists, government, businesses, and farmers are coming together to reverse the process, but the task ahead is daunting at best.

Isabella Hunts Goes Amazon

In all my life as a half-Brazilian, I have never visited the jungle proper. But now, I have the unique opportunity to live with a tribe of natives for three weeks in the Amazonian state Acre, near the Peruvian border, where I will spend day-to-day life with them, and go on as many hunts as I can to create the next chapter of my project  Isabella Hunts.

After five flights and a 7 to 20-hour boat ride—depending on water levels—and without electricity or running water, I'll be as offline as can be, so no new posts til I come out the other end! So what does one pack for such an adventure? Only the bare necessities of course. Plus plenty of nail polish. Haux!

image.jpg