BRAZILIAN artist and activist Mundano works on the mural ‘The Forest Brigade’ using paint made with ashes collected and brought from fires in Amazon, Pantanal and other biomes, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Oct. 14. — REUTERS/AMANDA PEROBELLI

SAO PAULO —  From ashes to art.

Brazilian artist Mundano has used ash from the burned Amazon rainforest to create a street mural in Sao Paulo of a firefighter standing amid deforestation, fires and dead animals.

“I’m using evidence of the crime,” said Mundano, calling the 1,000-square-meter  artwork on the side of a building an act of “artivism.”

Mundano travelled more than 10,000 km across Brazil in June and July, collecting ashes from the Amazon rainforest, the Pantanal wetland region, the Cerrado tropical savannah, and the Atlantic Forest.

He also met with firefighters and volunteers to listen to their stories.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has struggled to deliver on a pledge to eliminate illegal forest clearing in the Amazon, the world’s largest rainforest, with his calls for more farming and mining instead emboldening illegal loggers.

In August alone, satellites registered 28,060 fires in the Brazilian Amazon, a vital bulwark against climate change because of the vast amount of carbon dioxide that its plant life absorbs and stores, and deforestation rose in September from a year ago.

“This mural is a protest, a cry for help,” said Mundano. “I support fire brigades and also for this fire culture to stop, it’s leading us to self-destruction.” — Reuters