“Hutan Hujan” is the Indonesian word for rainforest. Spread across 18,000 islands, Indonesia’s rainforest is the third largest in the world. Lush and dynamic, it is a source of life for people and animal alike—and its disappearing at a devastating rate. In its place, a new kind of ‘forest’, manufactured and sprawling like a suburb, has emerged: palm oil. These trees produce fruit at an astounding pace, the oil of which is found in everything from bread and chocolate, to lipstick and shampoo.
Working alongside the Orangutan Information Centre (OIC), I traveled to Sumatra to witness and document the wholesale transformation of this region and its forests. These images are part of a larger series, depicting the complex and pressing tale of palm oil in Northern Sumatra, where destruction and restoration, orangutan and people, conservation and livelihood collide.