June 17, 2015
Take A Stand for Elephants at Times Square
- as seen by -Steve Harper
Elephants are majestic animals. Ponderous in their size and shape, yet completely relatable in their traits and social bonds. It’s this combination of otherness and familiarity that easily sparks the imagination and creates empathy.
When I heard that we were losing African elephants in large numbers for the most trivial of purposes, I could no longer sit on the sidelines.
Here, so many miles from the conflict, our most immediate connection to the elephant is its ivory. The demand for ivory is the reason for their slaughter. An ivory crush is a ceremonial attempt to destroy the coveted objects that precipitate their demise.
To me, the crushed ivory remains are a solemn memorial to these fallen giants. Each shard was once attached to a magnificent wild animal that was brutally murdered in order to make some useless trinket and satisfy human vanity.
It has a simple structure that repeats: Defying gravity and time, the shards rise and come together to reconstitute the tusk. The individual rises defiantly and the community comes together in solidarity. We ask for you to rise and join us. Defy the status quo. Take A Stand.
Come to the ivory crush on June 19 in New York’s Times Square.
Editor’s Note: Steve Harper’s photo projection technique in creating Take A Stand will be featured on a future post of Wild View.