Daniel Jack Lyons’ debut monograph continues the American artist’s long-term commitments to visualising the social and political rights of under-represented communities. Initially from a background of social and medical anthropology, Lyons began working in the Amazon under the umbrella of Casa do Rio, a community-based organisation that celebrates and supports the cultural lives of teenagers and young people living in the depths of the Amazon. Lyons particularly visualises and empowers the trans and queer communities of the region, exploring how deep indigenous traditions and modern identity politics meet in a celebratory, safe space, deep in the lush canopies and vegetation of the rainforest.
Lyons’ empowering images celebrate the perennial coming-of-age impulses to express and affirm one’s individuality, resilient here in the Amazon against a toxic mix of environmental degradation, violence, and discrimination. As another generation passes through the quotidian rites and rituals of adolescence, Lyons asks: what sort of world will they inhabit, and how much autonomy will they have over it.