Carrying multiple cats and dogs displaced by the war, was heartbreaking. It makes you reevaluate everything when you see firsthand the impact of war, especially on the animals.
WE ANIMALS MEDIA: We Animals Media photographer Molly Condit began her professional career in the post production field in 2006, working primarily in broadcast media. After a short stint in the veterinary world and forming her own jewelry design company, Molly found her calling as a commercial and portrait photographer. Over the past nine years, she has cemented a passion for documenting humans and especially animals, and the inextricable bonds between them.
Her dedication for animal advocacy has led to work with domestic rescue organizations and sanctuaries as well as volunteer work abroad – most recently documenting animal transport across borders in Ukraine and Poland. Based in Arizona, she’s fortunate enough to live with rescue felines who remind her daily just how lucky she is to be their human.
We sat down with… photojournalist Molly Condit to learn more about her journey towards animal photojournalism and her recent work with We Animals Media…
WAM: Earlier this year you joined PETA in Ukraine and Poland to document their animal rescue efforts amidst the Russian invasion. Can you tell us about your experience on the ground documenting these stories?
MC: Joining PETA Germany’s team was an unprecedented experience and my first time in an active war zone. Listening to air raid sirens blaring as the team collected cats from a makeshift shelter in the basement of an apartment building after driving through sandbagged checkpoints into and out of Lviv was surreal. Meeting human refugees at the train station in Przemyśl who had managed to bring their animal companions with them alongside a single suitcase of belongings was at once heartwarming and sobering. And later recalling how eerily quiet the PETA transport van rides were, despite carrying multiple cats and dogs displaced by the war, was heartbreaking. It makes you reevaluate everything when you see firsthand the impact of war, especially on the animals.
Yet covering these particular stories revealed that there exists kind and compassionate responses to the violence and struggle that war creates. From the Polish woman who made extra room in her shelter for Ukrainian cats and dogs as they awaited further travel into the EU, to the American who volunteered at a holding facility in Lviv and helped move supplies around the country through personal fundraising, to the Ukrainian volunteers who risked everything to drive animals from the high conflict eastern parts of the country to the Medyka border, these individuals showed an initiative and selflessness for the sake of the animals that continues to astound me…
WAM: You recently came back from a We Animals Media assignment in New York, US where you documented the use of chickens in kaporos, a religious ritual practiced by the Orthodox Jewish community. Can you tell us about your experience on this assignment?
MC: To be honest, I’m still processing a lot of what I saw during those two days of filming. Witnessing the indifference and insensitivity that some practitioners and members of the community expressed towards the chickens was quite chilling, and our presence was contested everywhere. It was also very technically challenging with the constant rain and wind, but I think we all kept remembering how much worse it was for the animals. This was my first foray into intensive investigative work and I’m grateful for the opportunity. I was honored to work alongside Victoria de Martigny and Kelly Guerin and create visuals that have and will hopefully continue to reach a wide audience. SOURCE…