My name is David Tesinsky and I’m frequently traveling the world for more than 10 years. I aim to kill stereotypes, open eyes with my photography, and to capture people with somehow controversial lifestyles or destinies, or just creatively capture ‘normal people’.

I saw that the lungs of the Earth—Amazon forest—is on fire so I went there to see what is really happening and to capture it my way. I spent 3 weeks in the jungle in the presence of 2 native tribes whose lands were burned out wilfully by the greedy farmers for their cattle.

I took all the photos in the states of Acre and Amazonas in Brazil. Chief Mapu and his tribe Huni Kuin were about to open a healing and spiritual center there but now it’s all gone.

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Children from the Huni Kuin tribe on land ravaged by the 2019 Amazon fires

Me in the jungle in Peru

During the very last week of my stay, I moved to Peru and found a shaman I’ve experienced my very first Ayahuasca ceremony with.

Diego (shaman), his friend, another man named Nacho (he was cooking nachos every single day) and I sat next to a fire and drunk a first portion of ayahuasca.

The shaman took a photo of me on his phone and captured me with the ghost of a native man

In the very beginning, I started to feel like I’m in a dream from the last night while I was still very conscious. Then, after I’ve vomited for the first time near the main fire on the grass while sitting on a fallen tree and watching spirals on the wall next to me, I started to see things differently, feel different spirits and ghosts of the forest and finally my inner shaman. Soon after that, I started to feel the snakes in the corners of my eyes but not really see them (yet), also ornaments, fractals and spilled pixels of reality. Then, I saw a snake. Even though I wasn’t afraid, even though I closed my eyes, it was still there looking at me and I was looking at it even when my eyes were closed, there was no way to turn, I simply had to deal with that, and I did. Soon after that, the shaman told me: “tell me when the snake comes”, although he hasn’t mentioned it before at all.

I was showing shaman how to make an autoportrait of us and edit it in 2 mins (shaman Diego is on the left)

He said he knew that the snake always comes as it is here to protect us and is a guardian of the forest. Ayahuasca was coming to the full power and I went through the near-death experience: my heart was beating, I was breathing like crazy, very soon I completely forget who I am, I started to feel that I’m just a soul and out of my body, I started to feel that hurting others is hurting yourself. Then, I died. I was still sitting though. One old shaman told me before: “you will be limping, but Ayahuasca won’t let you fall,” which was true. The shaman let me be alone as it was my fight but he stayed near for any case of necessary assistance. There was no need though. Later, he explained to me that he is very happy that I forgot who I saw as it is one of the points of all this — forget who we are so we can realize things and reborn. When I was hallucinating a lot, the shaman told me to stand up and look into his eyes. So I did and it was very hard but he explained to me later that it was just a test of my trust and will that I’m loosing in my life as he found out and I admitted. Then, he told me to drink the last portion of ayahuasca (4th), but I refused — I barely knew who I was. Then he explained to me: “you are a man, David, and you are a traveler, do it for yourself, do it for your family.” In the end, I did, and I felt that it was just one big test and I’ve realized how intelligent this plant is — after showed my trust to him and myself, after drinking the 4th and last portion of ayahuasca, I became “normal’ and I was the happiest person in the world. Oh my God.

When I came to the Huni Kuin tribe for the very first time, I found out that the wife of the chief is a Czech woman, which was a crazy discovery!