01 | Context


“You might think of the ethnosphere as being the sum total of all thoughts and dreams, myths, intuitions, and inspirations brought into being by the human imagination since the dawn of consciousness.” – Wade Davis

When the anthropologist Wade Davis coined the term Ethnosphere in his book Light at the Edge of the World, his thought was to come up with a concept that would suggest to people that just as there is a biosphere, a biological web of life, so too there is a cultural fabric that envelops the Earth, a cultural lacework of life.

On this cultural fabric notion, Davis comments, “The ultimate tragedy is not that archaic societies are disappearing but rather that vibrant, dynamic, living cultures and languages are being forced out of existence.”

“The ethnosphere is humanity’s great legacy,” Davis continues. “It is the symbol of all that we are and all that we have created as a wildly inquisitive and astonishingly adaptive species.”

In the project Ethno-sphere, I come to terms with my preoccupation with Davis—his writings and reflections on the ethnosphere—and my images attempt to depict both the collective loss we all experience when a culture fades as well as the collective gain we might all celebrate as we embrace each other’s imagination.

Keywords: Climate crisis; culture; ethnosphere; globalization; global survey; human geography; humanity; Indigenous

02 | Featured Collaborators

• Gitga’at First Nation of Gitk’a’ata Territory
• Gwichʼin of the Northwest Territories and Yukon
• Haida Nation of Haida Gwaii
• Inuit of Inuit Nunangat in the Arctic
• Kayapó of Pará and Mato Grosso states in the Brazilian Amazon
• Talang Mamak of Central Sumatra
• Waorani of the Amazonian Region of Ecuador

03 | Photography