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Documentary shows off UNESCO Flores Island Mural Project

Choki, a non-profit organization inspired from Bhutan, set out to help the world from a small island – and then capture it on a short documentary for all to experience via YouTube. Located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and one of the most beautiful locations in the world, the island of Flores became center stage for an ambitious mural project with the help of professional muralist Morgan Bricca and Nature is Home film.

This easily accessible YouTube documentary is nothing shy of captivating – much like the mural and island contained within it. This documentary is both free and valuable as it showcases the transformative power of art through the eyes of a muralist and the Flores island natives who benefited from her brush strokes.

“We want to inspire a world of doers with cultural initiatives that support community and the environment,” said Casey, founder of Choki. “We set out to do it with our friends, Bricca, Nature is Home, and the Internet through some high-quality lenses to create a great angle and an incredibly inspirational video. This film allows people to view the murals and experience the culture of Flores without ever boarding a plane.”

A pinpoint on the Azores islands with a small population of 3,500, Flores is rarely viewed by outsiders. Humble in economy but rich in natural wonders, the island is dotted with soaring heights, winding rivers and roaring waterfalls. In this exclusive video, viewers tour the island from all angles – zooming from aerial overview to up close and personal shots with island natives.

The background noise in the video captures the peace and natural beauty of Flores itself – from the soft bird chirps and loud rooster crows. The video not only includes breathtaking scenes of the island, but a fast-motion look at the process behind creating this work of art and conversations with the Flores islanders.

Bricca saw a power in the majestic nature of this delicate island. Just as Choki hoped, this video captured the Flores natives and showcased the way they felt cared for. In the film, they expressed gratitude for the unique touch in their city, their town and their home because of the murals.

“We aim to influence influencers and those with expertise,” said Casey. “We want to inspire people who can cause a ripple effect to stimulate cultural awareness with integrity through art or personal passion in a community space. Our passion is environment & community and this video is the visual representation of our efforts. We hope it will capture the attention of people who can, in turn, use their gifts and talents to capture the attention of others. What is your best to share with the world?”

Each day on the project, Bricca woke up and said, “This is my dream come true.” A professional mural artist for 15 years, Bricca typically paints in the San Francisco area. With a request from Choki to fly to a small island she’d never visited and paint intricate murals of life she’d never seen, Bricca had the choice to say “Yes” or “No.” After four of the most beautiful photos she’d ever seen from Choki co-founder Andrea Pinto, she had no hesitation in her answer: “Yes.”

“Art brings transformation,” said Bricca. “It fosters pride and integrity into the hearts and hometown of the people who live on the stunning Flores island. They see the beauty of their home every day, but I had the privilege of helping put it right in front of them.”

The journey from transforming a beat-up wall from an eyesore to a focal point came with different responses. They ranged from “Oohs” and “Ahhs” of children coming around the corner to nervousness by the building owner before Bricca began. But when the project was finished, people wanted to use a new entrance because the mural was there.  

“I think it is a contribution to the island and a beautiful thing,” said Flores natives interviewed in the film. “The island of Flores really needed joy, life, color and these paintings are fantastic.”

According to the island-goers, these murals with the endemic flora and fauna of Flores depict the originality of the island itself and its inhabitants. Even as an outsider, Bricca was captivated by the uniqueness of the island compared to every other place she’s been – which spans from California to China. Anticipating a long-term passion project, Bricca thinks she’ll come back to the island.

Recognizing she didn’t have to be the one who helped transform the Flores island community, she’s still glad she was. The film is available on multiple platforms, including computer or smartphone. While recently released, it is the most-viewed video Choki has uploaded yet.

For more information:

Publication date: 1/2/2018



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