Jo-Anne McArthur

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Jo-Anne McArthur
Jo-Anne McArthur, Canadian photojournalist (photo by Lesley Marino).jpg
Born (1976-12-23) December 23, 1976 (age 41)
Ottawa, Ontario
Nationality Canadian
Occupation Photojournalist and activist
Known for We Animals
Website Jo-Anne McArthur
We Animals
Humane Education

Jo-Anne McArthur (born December 23, 1976) is a Canadian photojournalist, humane educator, animal rights activist and author. She is known for her We Animals project, and for being the primary subject of the 2013 documentary The Ghosts in Our Machine, directed by Liz Marshall. With Keri Cronin, she is the founder of the Unbound Project, which aims to celebrate and recognize female animal activists. Her first book, We Animals, was published in 2013.

Photography

McArthur was raised in Ottawa, Ontario, and studied Geography and English at the University of Ottawa.[1] She decided to pursue photography after taking an elective course on black-and-white photography at university.[2] She originally entered photography motivated by artistry, but her motives subsequently changed, and she instead came to see her camera as her "tool for creating change". Her earlier work photographing animals was in the genre of street photography, but she now increasingly photographs captive animals, sometimes while undercover.[3] In 2010, the trauma of her work led to her being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, though she has since recovered. Her photographs are sometimes published anonymously.[1]

McArthur is represented by the New York City based agency Redux Pictures. Her work has been published in a variety of media, including the Canadian version of the lifestyle magazine Elle, the German news magazine Der Spiegel, and the American tourism magazine National Geographic Traveler. In addition, her photographs have been used by over 100 animal advocacy organizations[4] and in academic work on human-animal relationships.[5]

McArthur appeared in the top 50 of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Champions of Change contest,[6] and on More's fourth annual "Fierce" list.[7] She has also been awarded the Institute for Critical Animal Studies's 2014 Media Award, the Toronto Vegetarian Association's 2013 Lisa Grill Compassion for Animals Award (with Liz Marshall),[1][8] and Farm Sanctuary's 2013 "Friend of Farm Animals" award.[9]

We Animals

McArthur conceived of the We Animals project in around 1998 after an encounter with a macaque monkey chained to a windowsill in Ecuador. She photographed the monkey as she was appalled at the treatment, and "knew that the way [she] saw our treatment of animals was important, and [she] wanted to share that point of view".[3] On its website, We Animals is described as:

an ambitious project which documents, through photography, animals in the human environment. Humans are as much animal as the sentient beings we use for food, clothing, research, experimentation, work, entertainment, slavery and companionship. With this as its premise, We Animals aims to break down the barriers that humans have built which allow us to treat non-human animals as objects and not as beings with moral significance. The objective is to photograph our interactions with animals in such a way that the viewer finds new significance in these ordinary, often unnoticed situations of use, abuse and sharing of spaces.[9]

In December 2013, We Animals, a photobook by McArthur containing both text and over 100 of her photographs, was published by Lantern Books.[10] The activist Bruce Friedrich, in a review published by The Huffington Post, described it as "the most gorgeous book [he had] experienced in many years", one which "offers haunting sadness, [but also] intense hope".[11]

McArthur has spoken in educational institutions since 2008.[12] Through the We Animals Humane Education Program, McArthur offers a variety of presentations in school, university and other environments.[13][14] The program seeks to "foster awe, curiosity and critical thinking about our relationships with animals", to "instill reverence, respect and responsibility", inspire empathy with animals, to "create gentler stewards of the earth", and to encourage people to be "agents of positive change".[15]

The Ghosts in Our Machine

McArthur was the "main human subject" of the 2013 documentary film The Ghosts in Our Machine, directed by Liz Marshall.[16] The film avoids the shocking imagery of many documentaries focussed on animal rights, such as Earthlings, meaning that it "takes an almost arthouse approach, resulting in a film that's more a meditation on suffering and the relationship between humans and other species, than an angry, didactic diatribe".[17] Writing in Variety, the critic Peter Debruge said that

It's enough to make you sad, not for the animals (to whom human cruelty is nothing new), but for McArthur, this beautiful young woman who feels so deeply for those not of her kind that she carries their collective suffering around with her daily. What must it be like to experience PTSD after visiting dairy farms and facilities that supply primates for medical testing?[18]

Unbound Project

With Keri Cronin, an associate professor of art history at the Department of Visual Arts at Brock University, McArthur founded the Unbound Project, a multimedia and book project aiming "to recognize and celebrate women at the forefront of animal advocacy, in both a contemporary and historical context", and to "inspire our audience to do what they can to make the world a kinder, gentler place for all species".[19]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Domingo, Nadya (28 January 2015). "Social Justice All-Star: Jo-Anne McArthur". This. Retrieved 2 January 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Gueraseva, Julie (30 January 2013). "The Witness: Photographer Jo-Anne McArthur". Laika Magazine. Retrieved 2 January 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 Abrams, Lindsay (28 December 2013). "One photographer's mission to change the way we look at animals". Salon. Retrieved 2 January 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Jo-Anne McArthur". Redux Pictures. Retrieved 10 January 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Gruen, Lori (2014). "Dignity, Captivity, and an Ethics of Sight". In Gruen, Lori. The Ethics of Captivity. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 231–47. ISBN 9780199978007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Top 50: Jo-Anne McArthur". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2 January 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "MORE Magazine's 4th Annual Fierce List: 50 Inspiring Women". More. Retrieved 2 January 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Lisa Grill Compassion for Animals Award". Toronto Vegetarian Association. Retrieved 2 January 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. 9.0 9.1 "About We Animals". We Animals. Retrieved 2 January 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Book". We Animals. Retrieved 2 January 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Friedrich, Bruce (5 December 2014). "Looking Into Their Eyes: Jo-Anne McArthur's We Animals". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2 January 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "About Jo-Anne". We Animals Humane Education Program. Retrieved 10 January 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Programs". We Animals Humane Education Program. Retrieved 10 January 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Services". We Animals Humane Education Program. Retrieved 10 January 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Why humane education?". We Animals Humane Education Program. Retrieved 10 January 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Cast". Ghost Media Inc. Retrieved 2 January 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. Hawkes, Rebecca (16 July 2014). "The Ghosts in Our Machine: 'It's not a finger-wagging movie outing farmers'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2 January 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Debruge, Peter (9 December 2013). "Film Review: 'The Ghosts in Our Machine'". Variety. Retrieved 2 January 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "About the project". Unbound Project. Retrieved 2 January 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Further reading

External links