The Save Movement Through Art
I have been taking part in The Save Movement when and where I can from about 3 years now, I have been to several locations to witness animals be driven to their death or to be sold in an auction. For me, using my art as a form of activism started out with drawing the animals I had seen and photographed whilst bearing witness.
What is The Save Movement?
The Save movement started in December of 2010 when in Toronto with activists stoping trucks going into a slaughterhouse to give water to the pigs. Anita Krajnc (a co-founder of The Save Movement) was arrested for doing this and since then the movement has spread across the world.
There are now over 660 groups spreading across the globe, the purpose of a Save or Vigil is to simply stop the trucks that are entering a slaughterhouse or auction and witness, comfort and document the animal that are arriving.
There are a few different reasons that activists take part in this movement, one is to try and give one last moment of compassion to the animals arriving for slaughter, and another large part of this is to photograph and share their stories.
Being able to share with the world online via social media the animals that we come face to face with I do believe has a great impact, no longer are we just talking about animals that we have seen via footage. But when you can talk to someone about the very real experiences of being at those places and show footage that you yourself have captured, it brings others very close to the suffering of those animals.
Another personal view of mine is that we are also showing the slaughterhouses, workers and farmers that we are here, we are present, we are still fighting, lets make sure they dont forget that we are allies to the animals they so easily slaughter.
Using art as activism
I have hundreds of photos of animals on my laptop, on my phone, on my social media of the animals that are no longer with us, and I have always felt like I wanted to do something more with those images. I wanted others to not forget those animals that are now no longer alive, thats why I started drawing from the photos.
I felt that by drawing them and I could re-share their stories, they deserved so much more than the life they were given. This is also another way that I could bring people in and close to see the suffering that these animals go through, using non violent imagery I hope to create conversations with others about what is happening world wide and the suffering that we as humans are causing these animals.
I decided to have some of the pieces done as prints and to sell other originals in the hope that activists would purchase them as a reminder of who we are fighting for, and to also spark conversations with others.
How can you get involved?
If you want to get involved with The Save Movement then you can find your local group here
If you have yet to attend a Save or Vigil but would like to use images to draw the animals that people have witnessed go to slaughter. You can find photos by going on Instagram and searching the hashtag The Save Movement, but remember to ask the photographers permission before using photos for your artwork.
- HMA xx
P.S There is also a group called Kent Animal Defenders who witness and protest live exports, if you want to get involved or find photography by them you can do so here.