Kids

Cecilia Vicuña. Comunicación: común única acción (Communication: Common Action) from the series AMAzone Palabrarmas. 1978 28

Ink and pencil on paper, sheet: 8 1/2 × 11" (21.6 × 27.9 cm). Latin American and Caribbean Fund, Modern Women's Fund, gift of Agnes Gund, Amalia Amoedo, María Luisa Ferré Rangel (in honor of Cyril Meduña) and Juan Yarur Torres (in honor of Amalia Amoedo)

Narrator: The artist and poet Cecilia Vicuña is from Chile.

Cecilia Vicuña: Amazone Palabrarmas is a set of 28 drawings I created after a journey I took to the Amazon rainforest and each drawing is actually a word. I was in love with the way of drawing which seemed to be like an unbroken line that danced, communicating its meanings.

Narrator: The words are in Spanish. You can see the English translation on the labels. But you might be able to guess some of them from the drawings—words like lies, truth, hope, and imagination.

The title of the series, Palabrarmas, combines two Spanish-language words: palabra, which means word, and armas, which means weapons.

Cecilia Vicuña: People often ask, why are words powerful? If you're a kid and you have been bullied, you know that there's nothing more painful than being called names. I believe that the power of words could be to enhance life, support life and love, or to kill it.

Narrator: Vicuña hopes these word-weapons will remind people to protect the rainforest.

Cecilia Vicuña: When I first came and crossed the Amazon by land, by boat, I felt it was the most beautiful, majestic place on earth. It took thousands and thousands of years for this forest to be created, and now, we are destroying it. If we were able to change our destructive ways and get back to loving the earth, everything would change so fast.

Narrator: If you could make a word-weapon, what word would you choose? What problem would you try to solve?

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