Our 2021 limited edition t-shirt designer is Bárbara Dantas, whom we choose out of 300 candidates.
Bárbara is just 24 years old, but already she has designed and developed graphic work for many brands in her native Brazil. For us, she seemed like a natural fit for our mission this year: to bring awareness and action to the environmental crisis threatening our planet’s species.
Bárbara has witnessed first-hand the threats to the survival of endangered species because in Brazil, where she lives, the threat to wildlife is critical.
Of course, she wasn’t able to fit all of them onto our t-shirt. That’s because according to the IUCN’s Red List, there are more than 134,000 species threatened with extinction.
BÁRBARA: Here in Rio de Janeiro where I live, there is the Tijuca National Park, which is part of the Atlantic Forest. The diversity of our animal and plant species is really amazing. Our government, however, has worked relentlessly to roll back enforcement of Brazil’s environmental protections. Bolsonaro, our president, has cooperated with industries that want greater access to protected areas of the Amazon, the biggest tropical forest in the world. Our government has also been trying to weaken the land rights of Indigenous people and scaling back efforts to combat illegal logging, so they’re making things really worse around here.
“Our government has worked relentlessly to roll back enforcement of Brazil’s environmental protections.”
Clockwise from top: The Poison Dart frog, just one of many species threatened with extinction in the Amazon forest; illegal logging in the Amazon; a serene lagoon in Bárbara’s favorite nature preserve, the Tijuca National Park just outside of Rio de Janeiro.
FONFRÈGE: What made you decide to become a graphic artist?
BÁRBARA: I’ve loved drawing since I was a kid. My father is also a visual artist, so I grew up surrounded by paints and brushes, so I kind of always knew that was what I loved doing and what I wanted my career to be.
FONFRÈGE: What is the art scene like in Brazil? It seems like there are a lot of new young artists doing design and illustration right now, and they’re getting noticed.
BÁRBARA: We have many really talented and passionate artists, designers, and illustrators here, and we have many great museums and galleries. Despite the circumstances of our politics and the chaos of the pandemics, our artists are still really creative and enthusiastic. I think Brazilians really have this joy of living, even with all the problems in the country, and I think that shows in our arts and culture.
Bárbara has created graphic work for several Brazilian fashion brands. Her themes are inspired by the nature that surrounds her.
FONFRÈGE: What is the artistic work you are most proud of?
BÁRBARA: There are two: A book I illustrated for my graduation project, called Pequenos Mistérios Gigantes, and the illustration I did for Fonfrège, because of its an amazing goal to help endangered animal species.
FONFRÈGE: Why do you think your generation is so passionate about our environment right now?
BÁRBARA: I think we’re getting to watch closely as we grow up the consequences of our acts as humans: climate change, how more and more animal and plant species are threatened with extinction every day. The environmental degradation of our forests. That’s what I think makes us so passionate about our environment: we know that we need to make real changes soon and that each one of us needs to do our part to fight for the protection of our planet.
>> Buy your t-shirt now at fonfrege.com and join us in helping support the IUCN Species Survival Commission.