Arts & Entertainment

Mural shows drought impact on Argentine stretch of Parana River

Buenos Aires, Sep 15 (EFE).- A boy whose image is reflected in a parched section of the Parana River is the subject of the latest mural by Argentine artist Martin Ron, a work that captures the severe drought impact on that waterway as it meanders through San Nicolas de los Arroyos, a city 240 kilometers (150 miles) north of Buenos Aires.

In remarks to Efe, the creator of that 30-meter-tall (100-foot-tall) work said that after arriving in that locality he found “a very low river and a concern on the part of all Nicoleños” about the threat to their economy and normal way of life.

“I thought it was the right time to capture everything that’s happening so we ask ourselves questions through the – perhaps subtle – metaphor that these murals represent. Taking beauty as the starting point, but asking ourselves why these children are reflected in a low river,” Ron said.

Located on Sarmiento Street in San Nicolas de los Arroyos, the first of two murals shows a small boy named Fausti picking up a flower, the irupe, from the dry banks of the Parana River.

Ron, an Argentine artist regarded as one of the world’s greatest muralists, will be finalizing another similar work in a few weeks that is located a mere 100 meters away.

“I’ll create a composition that’s a sort of diptych. They’re two works that enter into dialogue because we find a boy and a girl, each (painted) on a building, who are looking with concerned looks at some native species of flora that they need to save,” the muralist said.

“The subject in both works is the reflection, so we’ll see a situation of symmetry and reflection in these characters, against a black background, that evokes the low Parana River,” he added.

Ron took around four weeks to complete the first mural and used a total of 200 liters (53 gallons) of paint.

He said this initiative is part of an urban art program promoted by the local mayor’s office with the goal of generating a “positive impact” on society and attracting tourists.

Ron said the ultimate objective though is for passersby to reflect on an environmental crisis that has triggered the biggest drop in the Parana River’s water level in more than 70 years.

“After enjoying the (mural), rejoicing in how beautiful it is, they should also ask themselves some questions,” the artist said, emphasizing the need to “get to the bottom of some issues, such as the ecological theme of these works.”

According to a recent report by Argentina’s National Meteorological Service, 75 percent of the Parana River basin – a 70-million-hectare (270,270-square-mile) area – is affected by moderate or exceptional levels of drought.

Caused by a lack of rainfall in the basin that feeds the Parana in Brazil, that drought has caused the river to drop to its lowest level since 1944. EFE


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