Bruno V. Roels’ “Moi, J’Avais Le Soleil Jour Et Nuit.”

SEEING GREEN: Costa Brazil, the environmentally centered beauty brand launched by Francisco Costa, has passed the one-year mark and remains committed to its mission of helping people reconnect with the world in a sustainable way.

Costa recently helped another kind of mission as well by being the first interviewed guest on the April 17 launch of Mission Magazine’s #MissionTV on its Instagram.

As part of Costa Brazil’s efforts to protect the rainforests, the company started the Creative Coalition with Conservation International. Beyond saving trees, safeguarding acreage helps the well-being of tribespeople in the Amazon, whose health is at risk due to disease and foreign agents.

The new Creative Coalition project consists of a series of gelatin silver prints depicting palm trees photographed by Bruno V. Roels. As a result of Roel’s efforts, 80 acres of tropical rainforest, or about 20,000 trees, have been saved. The gelatin silver prints are made on fiber-based paper that has been coated with a light-sensitive emulsion.

Roels said he is working on a book that will be published by Art Paper Editions about his collection of palm-tree-related vintage postcards and photographs made in the European colonies between 1875 and 1935. “These cards and photographs were made by Europeans for Europeans to educate, to amaze, to seduce, to promote, to document, to sell and to marvel at,” Roels said.

The “wonderful and highly seductive images hide the brutal facts of the European colonization,” according to the Brussels-based artist, who has focused on palm trees in much of his work. “As a European, I realized that the meanings palm trees hold for me — adventure, leisure, luxury and travel — are fairly new. Palm trees have held a lot of different meanings throughout history and across cultures,” he said. “My interpretation is related to the colonies and the ways the West ‘imagined’ them. Blind. The West looks at ‘the other place’ as a place that can be used. We did it during colonial times, but globalization and mass tourism have a lot of the same characteristics.”

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