Animal Rights/Vegan Activists' Strategies Articles




Interview with Photographer Selene Magnolia

From WeAnimalsMedia.org
September 2022

I remember it as a suspended memory, but in that moment, as I witnessed helpless innocents being slaughtered, something clicked. It was eye-opening in a way that made me promise to myself that I would try to make a difference, using the tools I had. My voice, always, and my eyes that, coming from a family of photographers, I could use through a lens.

The thought I find the hardest to accept is how some people are able to inflict suffering or be indifferent to it. Itís ironic how the phobia I had of zombies when I was a child is more or less the same overwhelming fear I get today if I think of people as a crowd of unstoppable and unaware consumers or abusers who donít care about injustice or who blindly perpetrate violence.


buffalo
Buffalo inside a buffalo mozzarella farm, southern Italy, 2018. Credits: Selene Magnolia / Wildlight / Four Paws

Selene Magnolia is an Italian freelance photojournalist and investigator. With a background in grassroots activism, her work spans issues relating to social justice, anthropology, human rights, feminism, animals, the environment and food production. Selene was raised in the Italian Dolomites and now lives between London, where she studied at the British Academy of Photography, and Berlin. Her belief in research, slow journalism and an ethos of political participation informs her approach to documentary projects, and she is also involved with direct action groups defending solidarity. Photography and investigative work are, for her, a political tool to spread awareness and to promote change. Selene is one of the contributing photographers to HIDDEN: Animals in the Anthropocene. We interviewed Selene for the We Animals Media Photographer Series.

Why do you do what you do?

I remember the smell, the blood on my face, the cold, the water, my soaked clothes, the suffering eyes, the crying. Some years ago I found myself in the middle of a whale slaughter, and I documented it. The choice to join political and animal rights groups brought me there. I wasnít prepared for the deep experience that shocked my heart and my senses. I remember it as a suspended memory, but in that moment, as I witnessed helpless innocents being slaughtered, something clicked. It was eye-opening in a way that made me promise to myself that I would try to make a difference, using the tools I had. My voice, always, and my eyes that, coming from a family of photographers, I could use through a lens.

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