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HIDDEN: Animals in the Anthropocene

Jo-Anne McArthur | WorldWide

Organization: We Animals Media

Out of the ashes. A kangaroo and her joey stand in a burned-out eucalyptus plantation after the cataclysmic 2019-2020 bushfires. Australia. JO-ANNE McARTHUR

HIDDEN: Animals in the Anthropocene is an unflinching book of photography documenting our relationship with non-human animals in the 21st century, as depicted through the lenses of 40 award-winning photojournalists.

The Anthropocene is the proposed name for the current geological epoch. In this era, human activity is the dominant influence on climate, the environment, and all life on earth.

HIDDEN is a compilation of incredibly moving and harrowing work by its contributors who seek to speak up on behalf of animals. The images focus on the invisible animals in our lives: those with whom we have a close relationship and yet fail to see. They are the animals we eat and the animals we wear. They are the animals used in research and for entertainment, as well as those we sacrifice in the name of tradition and religion.

Photography is a powerful medium for change. Our goal is to make visible animal stories as well as move the needle on the conversations about the hidden animals in our lives.

HIDDEN is a call to action and proof of what is and should never again be.

Several of HIDDEN's forty contributing photojournalists are included in this selection of images.

Aaron Gekoski
Adam Oswell
Aitor Garmendia
Andrew Skowron
Britta Jaschinski
Gav Wheatley
Jo-Anne McArthur
Konrad Lozinski
Kristo Muurimaa
Luis Tato
Paul Hilton

Thank you for visiting our exhibit. I’m Jo-Anne McArthur, an award-winning Canadian photojournalist as well as the founder of We Animals Media (WAM). My vision for this ground-breaking new book was inspired by the war photography that has shaped history. Images of conflict and suffering have always played a crucial role in exposing atrocities and galvanizing the masses. In her book Regarding the Pain of Others, political activist Susan Sontag asks who should look at suffering? When is it useful to do so? The answer is that anyone who can help should look, and that is all of us. Billions of animals suffer needlessly each day within the constructs we’ve built. We believe that the time to bear witness is now.

HIDDEN features the work of forty award-winning photographers who have defied the odds to capture the most poignant and iconic images from animal industries around the world. Joining the We Animals Media team and I in the creation of HIDDEN is acclaimed photo editor and journalist Keith Wilson, as well as world-renowned designer David Griffin. Keith is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the founder and past editor of Outdoor Photography and Wild Planet magazines. He has interviewed the best-known photographers of our time. This is his ninth co-produced book. David was the visuals editor of The Washington Post, director of photography of National Geographic, and has held many other design and photography positions in the media. Joining our team in colour editing is the co-editor of Photographers Against Wildlife Crime, photographer Britta Jaschinski, and Sarah Janson joins us as our intrepid project manager. We are also honoured that the book’s foreword was written by none other than longtime vegan animal rights advocate, Joaquin Phoenix.

HIDDEN is a historical document, a memorial, and a call to action. The stories within its pages are revelatory and brutal. They are proof of the emergency confronting animals globally, from industrial farming to climate change, and provide valuable insight into the relevance of animal suffering to human health. The animals you will meet in these images and this book are important, and the documentation of their lives is one crucial piece of the puzzle when it comes to animal justice.

Jo-Anne McArthur - Award-winning photojournalist, founder of We Animals Media, creator and co-editor of HIDDEN


"I am, quite simply, in awe of these photographers. In a way, they are like war photographers, except witness to a war that so many people have little idea exists, or choose to suppress that exists. This takes enormous inner strength and bloody-minded determination to illuminate the mass extermination that unfolds every second of every day across the planet." Nick Brandt, Photographer

"HIDDEN is a milestone in photojournalism." Eric Hilaire, Photo Editor, The Guardian

"The photojournalists featured in HIDDEN have entered some of the darkest, most unsettling places in the world. The images they have captured are a searing reminder of our unpardonable behavior towards animals and will serve as beacons of change for years to come." Joaquin Phoenix, Actor

“HIDDEN speaks to the falsehood that meat comes in neat, guilt-free Styrofoam packages. The reality is a legacy of mass suffering for literally tens of billions of animals that the vast majority of us would prefer to ignore. This is photography that speaks to an uncomfortable truth that makes most people on this planet feel guilty.” Brent Stirton, Photographer

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