“...we are just a vehicle used by the public to shed light upon issues that they hold dear.” ~The Inside Out Project
Many many years ago, when I was just a wee thing living in South Africa, if my father found himself with a work or school or rugby break, my sister and I were bundled up and snuggled up in the backseat of the car. At 4 in the morning we left the lights of Johannesburg behind us and drove until dawn to the Kruger National Park. Just as the sun rose, and the long veld grasses lit up with gold, we passed through the gate and into a vast landscape of my favorite childhood memories.
I used to know the names of every species of bird, the name and markings of every type of antelope. We, the humans, would spend the day enclosed in the car, while the animals roamed freely. The best and only truly humane kind of zoo. I was spoiled with these experiences. We watched outside the window as the car crawled slowly along dusty roads, alert, with eyes peeled, searching the thorn bushes, the boughs of the boabab trees, and the long grass, for the best of the days’ sightings. The magic was in the revealing.
For me, nothing was more majestic than an encounter with the mighty, gentle elephant. Not unlike most animals, I can watch them for hours, the way they socialize and communicate and care for their young is so touching, tender, and…human. There were numerous occasions when my father was so focused on capturing a photograph while we kids in the backseat screamed with terror, as an agitated solitary bull elephant charged. We had gotten a little too close. Dad knew all their names, many of them were identified by the size and the shape of their tusks.
Photo @2008 JBL Photography
I first learned about the devastation from an article in National Geographic from October 2012. I was horrified. I was crushed. I noticed postings on a Facebook page called Elephant Voices and started following. I started to think about what I could do to help raise awareness and put an end to the poaching and the Ivory trade. I submitted an idea to one of my favorite art movements the Inside Out Project.
Here is my pitch and this is what they said:
Is the Inside Out project limited to faces of people? There is a genocide taking place in Africa of Elephants and Rhinos for their tusks for the Ivory Trade. I had the thought that an Inside Out project sharing the faces of these beautiful creatures would help spread the word and educate the masses not to buy it. I have a number of people I could organize a collaboration with to see this happen. Thoughts?
This sounds like a great project, yet we do not allow for animals to participate. However, if you would like to highlight the people who fight on the behalf of these magnificent animals we would love to have you participate in our project. If this option doesn’t suffice for you then we suggest that you feel free to utilize the theme of our project to create the action yourself, as we are just a vehicle used by the public to shed light upon issues that they hold dear.
My Inside Out Project begins now!
As I track down the angels who are working so hard to stop the genocide of our animal friends. And I start to consider a site with the greatest visibility and impact to honor the angels and understand the plight. A second project will be taking shape. This one for the faces that I hold so dear.
Photo @2008 JBL Photography
Is there a cause you feel passionate about? Submit to the Inside Out Project here.
Coming up Soon, Inside Out in Action: On Mother’s Day, May 30th in Nicaragua, I will be documenting the pasting of an Inside Out Project in Granada, Nicaragua. Here is a preview.Add a comment