The Project

A commemorative concert for animals

The Project

The Artists

A cruelty-free music project by Winter Witches.

The Artists

The Manifesto

This is a project of hope

The Manifesto

We are happy to share this game inspired by one of our favourite bands / artists The Smiths & Morrissey.

Via PETA : “This game is the biggest social crusade of all as we safeguard the weak & helpless from violent human aggression. You don’t get that from Pokémon GO” says Morrissey.

Play the game below – save animals from slaughter featuring an 8-bit rendition of The Smiths classic anti-cruelty anthem”Meat is Murder.”

*A list of endangered and critically endangered species regularly caught in trawling nets and discarded as by-catch*

Diomedea chlororynchos (Atlantic yellow-nosed albatross)

Diomedea dabbenena (Tristan albatross)

Diomedea melanophrys (Black-browed albatross)

Diomedea sanfordi (Northern royal albatross)

Phoebastria nigripes (Black-footed albatross)

Phoebetria fusca (Sooty albatross)

Pterodroma cashow (Bermuda petrel)

Pterodoma hasitata (Black-capped petrel)

Puffinus mauritanicus (Balearic shearwater)

Thalassarche carteri (Indian yellow-nosed albatross)

Thalassarche melanophrys (Black-browed albatross)

Balaenoptera borealis (Sei whale)

Balaenoptera physalus (Fin whale)

Lamiopsis temminicki (Broadfin shark)

Mobula mobular (Devil ray)

Mustelus schmitti (Narrownose smooth-hound)

Thunnus maccoyii (Southern Bluefin tuna)

Pagrus pagrus (Common sea bream)

Scomberomorus concolor (Monterey spanish mackerel)

Sphyrna lewini (Scalloped hammerhead shark)

Sphyrna mokarran (Great hammerhead shark)

Squatina aculeata (Sawback angelshark)

Squatina oculata (Smoothback angelshark)

Squatina squatina (Angelshark)

Hi Everyone,

So yesterday marked the end of the first phase of Climate of Cruelty’s creative development. We were lucky enough to take part in an artist talk at Vitalstatistix facilitated by Emma Webb and featuring presentations from fellow Climate Century artists and all-round fabulous women Sasha Grbich and Emily Parsons-Lord.

Basically, this past week Jason and myself have been working together from home, both researching rigourously and creating poetry/music in response to all of the information we have encountered. I’m not going to lie…this week has been tough. We have been on the verge of tears several times and have had to distance ourselves from the material at regular intervals for the sake of our mental health.

The artist talk was a success and we had an opportunity to perform both spoken word renditions of some of the pieces we have been working on as well as early versions of some songs Jason has been penning. There seemed to be a really warm and positive response to the work which was, of course, wonderful. After all of the artists had presented, we were called together for an audience Q&A which became, inevitably, a discussion of hope and hopefulness in our unstable times. Our main response to this question was that having a platform to talk about animal injustice, animal cruelty and the factory farming industry’s role in climate change gave us hope. Being able to communicate this knowledge with an audience through our creative practices is a gift and all we can hope for is that, aside from an audience being touched by our creative output, that peoples’ eyes become opened to the atrocities about which we are performing and, hopefully, embark on a cruelty-free existence.  A huge thank you to all of the fabulous women at Vitalstatistix for hosting the event (and for providing a glorious vegan soup which was tasty tasty), to Sasha and Emily and to everyone who came down to participate in the conversation. The performance was filmed by Jenn Greer Holmes and as soon as we edit the footage we will be posting it here and on social media for everyone to enjoy.

From now until our next creative development period we will be trying to keep the website as active as possible: blogging regularly, posting vegan recipes, video/audio updates and any relevant media information –  as well as passing on information from organisations we support.

Until then,  warmth.

M + J

xxxxx

IMG_4518

Here is a picture of a horse I met years ago in Iceland…just because 🙂 xx

Burning is the Lay is one of the songs we have been working on this week.

Here is a preview of the lyrics….as a spoken word performance. Enjoy!

xxx

It is day 5 of our Vitalstatistix residency and I’m finding it helpful to continually remind myself, as I become saturated with statistics, footage and literature, about hope and the power it wields in times of crisis. Once your eyes have been opened to the horrors of the animal agriculture industry, hope reserves can quickly dwindle to nothing. I must always stay on top of this. We must always stay on top of this. Without hope for the future we have no chance of instigating change, no chance of building a better tomorrow.

Certain things have been appearing in the media lately which do instil a sense of hope. Things like the recent banning of greyhound racing in NSW and the ACT. This is a true achievement and one that I hope results in legislation being passed in all states and territories. Jason and myself will be attending the March for the Murdered Million in Adelaide next Sunday. Organised by the Animal Justice Party and starting in Elder Park, this gathering will commemorate the lives of the many greyhounds who have been needlessly killed in the industry.

Animal suffering stretches much further than just the factory farming industry.

I was also glad to see that the Animal Justice Party received nearly 90,000 votes in the recent federal election. While seemingly small in comparison to the major parties, this is still a step in the right direction and, if nothing else, will only encourage more voters in the next election. The Animal Justice Party has the most comprehensive collection of animal welfare policies of all the Australian political parties. Having a seat in the Federal Parliament would be a huge victory for the party, for supporters like ourselves but most importantly for the animals. For details on their policies, activities and how to join, please visit their website here.

Another great feat in recent times has been the growing number of major food franchises who have committed themselves to selling cage-free eggs. These organisations include such monsters as McDonalds, Subway and even Coles and Woolworths. While it is our hope that one day eggs as a food source will be a thing of the past, these commitments from such corporate giants are a sign of future possibilities. These changes were due in large part to lobbying, petitioning and activism from Animals Australia, an animal welfare organisation who have been responsible for generating political awareness on a large variety of animal welfare issues and who campaign relentlessly for the rights and freedoms of animals. We donate to them regularly and recommend that you check out their website and follow them on social media.

Lastly, I find a vast amount of hope is generated through the process of creation. Taking the pain and suffering endured by countless creatures and being able to make something beautiful, evocative and communicative from it creates a space for healing, both internally and externally. Jason and myself are using our skills as artists to increase awareness about animal welfare in an engaging and non-aggressive way. Whilst at the same time giving the millions of creatures that suffer and die at the hands of humans every year the recognition and mourning they deserve.

There are many reasons to be hopeful.

xxx

(These are some excerpts from an interview I did recently with Vitalstatistix – some specific thoughts on art and climate change, living cruelty free and motivations for making this work).

Climate of Cruelty is a way to redress the balance for individual animals slaughtered at the hands of humans in environmentally-impacting commercial industries in Australia and globally.

In my own life, the time arrived when I needed to face the evidence of the history of cruelty against animals to literally feed our human desires; how the livestock industry exists because of our human need to consume animals; how such an industry has a major impact upon the planet, upon the environment, and upon biodiversity; and on the act of needless killing.

In order to make responses about our planet as artists I truly believe there has to be equal response in one’s personal life. As humans making art about climate change, surely the only way to fully express an idea is to practice – fully – an investigation into the way one lives.

For me, I can’t make a work about animal cruelty and the adverse effects of the livestock industry on the environment and then live a life that promotes cruelty: especially to animals. Climate of Cruelty is about being mindful that cruelty can often be silent or silenced or disguised as comfort, especially where the use, consumption, and abuse of animals is concerned.

I’m always confused when artists who say they are environmentalists are still contributing through excessive use of resources in their work, or are not working with existing or recycled materials, or – dare I say – are not vegetarian or vegan. Artists, in so many respects, should be the voices to the dire situation our planet faces – we are, after all, part of the human impact that has led to the coming catastrophes. In a way, all that artists – and humans – should be concerned about now is our place on the planet and our own actions in contributing to climate change. It’s an emergency.

Once you’ve made the commitment to live a cruelty-free life, which includes being vegan, there are things you can never un-know. Sometimes I feel such urgency to communicate what I’ve learnt about animal suffering to other people, but then I watch them continue to consume animal products as if nothing were wrong.

My greatest share of melancholia is derived of human behaviour. When it comes to the dire impact of climate change as a result of human greed it seems impossible to not despair. This planet doesn’t need humans. We suck the earth dry. When humans disappear I am sure the earth will breathe a huge sigh of relief. The animals, plants and trees can finally get on with living, as they always have, in a sustainable way with the planet.

Knowing humans have created an industry that literally churns out animals for our desires, our plates, our bodies – creating an even greater impact upon our planet – how can I not exist in sadness?

Sometimes, when I look at the damage humans have inflicted upon the earth it renders me inarticulate, silent.

Hopefulness will come when I begin to observe those around me really beginning to embrace a cruelty-free, animal product-free life. Only then will I know an important change is starting to happen. In the meantime, I will keep my polite silence at the feeding table as I watch those around me continue to be sadly misinformed about the suffering of animals at the cost of our planet and our bodies.

It was the end, or the beginning, and there was no one.
There was no one left… because they all got sick…because they all kept looking the other way.
Everything was black and the smell…oh the smell.
No green left. Not a sound. Nothing.
The water: Thick…and heavy.
They said it wouldn’t turn out like this.
They said we would survive.
They said we had nothing to worry about.

Dry wetlands…every fish belly-up. The stench
Was overwhelming. A sea of scales with no one to
Feed on the bounty because…they all went too.

And everywhere, giant empty sheds with cages upon cages and inside the cages
And all over the ground and in the air….were feathers. Feathers dancing in the breeze.
White feathers, red feathers. Pieces of eggshell. Feet and beaks.
The fields were empty, the veal crates gone.
The sounds of grieving mothers were nowhere to be heard.
The only piece left was leather.

There were deserts in all the wrong places and the land
Was one giant grid. Rows and rows and rows. And circles and rows
And rows and circles and dirt and dust and so much water and more and more water.
Pouring in, swallowing, swallowing, eating up what was left of the Earth.

And just over there, underneath the golden arches, nestled
In small patch of soil, I saw a tiny seedling, glowing in the embers.
And suddenly, another one and another. More and more
And I thought to myself. I’d better get out of here.

And somehow, on the horizon, the sun rose on another day.
But how sure can we be?

Video provided by Sandra Mohr Productions.
Most eggs come from chickens in battery cages. These hens will never touch the ground or have room to stretch their wings. They will live above piles of their own excrement for their entire lives.

During this July 2016 residency I’ve been developing songs from Michael’s exquisite texts. These will all lead, in the future, to the performance of Climate of Cruelty. This work will be built with a team of collaborators (to be announced soon) who will bring to the work elements of lighting, projection, costumes, sound design and, we hope, lasers.

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