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‘154 cork oaks marked to the felled’ is the first chapter of a project of creative pracrtice and land stewardship in collaboration with my brother @afonsogfontoura. 

The ‘montado’ - cork oak forest - is a natural ecosystem created by humans and of which man is an enmeshed part of. It is traditional to Alentejo in the interior south east of Portugal. This is where I grew up.Typically made up of Sobreiros/Cork Oaks (Quercus Suber), Azinheiras/Holm Oaks(Quercus Rotundifolia), other oaks, many bushes and fungi, chamomille and pennyroyal in the winter and spring and Saharan soft and hot winds in the summer called 'ventos sirocos'.

Sheep and goats can inhabit it in small numbers side by side wild folk, like wild boar, foxes, bats and the loud cicada people. The montado is a protected ecosystem and vulnerable to the changes we are living and the ones we see coming. Our grandfather João Rafael Gancho bought this piece of cork oak forest in Alentejo the 1980’s, where we both grew up. The trees were worked for cork and the land exploited for raising cattle, until very recently. These practices, alongside very apparent climate change have degraded the forest, eroded, dried and acidified the soil and made it unwelcoming for many species who lived there before.

It won't stand forever, but whilst it does, my family - specially my brother - is employing regenerative and rewilding practices and loving water management, to give it the peace and agency it deserves. 
I am not geographically close by,  but I will document this process, and give it what I can.