Barksdale Award Winner Jess Cooley
JESS COOLEY is our 2020 Barksdale Award winner! Jess has won $5,000 to travel the Chiquitanía in Bolivia on motorcycle. The Chiquitanía is an arid forest in eastern Bolivia that serves as Bolivia’s natural barrier against global warming, and recently suffered devastating fires as did the Brazilian Amazon and the Australian bushlands. From August to October 2019, six million acres of the land burned in the Chiquitanía due to a dry season followed by farmers clearing unprecedented amounts of land for agrobusiness expansion. Two million animals, including thirty-five endangered species, and 40,000 trees perished in the flames. Jess will photograph the devastation, conduct interviews and surveys, and write out field notes on what he experiences.