Documenting abused animals is always traumatic for me. It hurts my heart to see the horrific conditions they are forced to live and die in. But I always return home, to safety, and leave those hundreds, thousands of individuals behind closed doors.
WE ANIMALS MEDIA: We Animals Media contributor Lukas Vincour is an animal liberation activist and a documentary photographer from the Czech Republic. He is co-founder of the vegan organization Zvirata Nejime (We Don’t Eat Animals) and one of the co-authors and directors of a documentary film about animal abuse in the Czech Republic, Svedectvi (Testimony). Through his work he is trying to draw attention to the suffering of innocent beings. We spoke with Lukas to learn more about his thought-provoking work.
WAM: Which came first for you: animals or photography? Can you tell us a little about your path to where you are today, and why you document what you do?
LV: Animals came first and then photography. I went to protests, we visited animal farms, and there wasn’t really anyone to document it. That’s why I took a camera in my hand and recorded everything. Since then, investigating and documenting animals has made tremendous sense to me. The camera is my non-violent weapon to help liberate animals.
WAM: What do you enjoy most about your work? What do you find most challenging?
LV: Photography is my passion, but documenting abused animals is always traumatic for me. It hurts my heart to see the horrific conditions they are forced to live and die in. But I always return home, to safety, and leave those hundreds, thousands of individuals behind closed doors. It’s hard to live with that feeling, but I believe that their recorded fates will help make a difference. And that’s the biggest challenge: getting into the places that the animal industry guards so closely and showing the reality that would have otherwise remained hidden…
WAM: Is there any particular photograph that you think represents your work and what you’d like to communicate to the world particularly well? Tell us why.
LV: It’s hard to pick one particular photo, but I often think of a goat imprisoned in an insemination station. He was fixed there by the head, and the employees were inserting an electroejaculator into his anus and collecting semen. He was looking at me, trembling terribly, and there was so much fear and helplessness in his eyes. The look on his face said it all…
WAM: If you could issue an invitation to other photographers to take up animal photojournalism, what would you say? If you could issue an invitation to the media to include the work of animal photojournalists, what would you say?
LV: The places where animals are imprisoned are absolutely non-transparent, in fact it is one of the most hidden industries ever. The owners of these farms have no interest in making what goes on inside public. That’s why journalists and the media should focus on this cruel reality. To show that behind the misleading advertising of animal products there is a lot of pain and suffering of innocent beings. SOURCE…