Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Nick Brandt and the story of Qumquat

I have posted on Nick Brandt's work before, but it would never be enough for me.  This time I am posting with particular emphasis on the story of the beautiful and awe-inspiring Matriarch of two generations, Qumquat (born in 1968) who, along with some of her family, were slaughtered by poachers.  These two photographs above are of 1) Qumquat and her daughter and granddaughter, and 2) Qumquat and her family.

A few purposes of this post are to bring awareness regarding the massacre of elephants and other animals in Africa by poachers; to let you know how you can help; and to display Nick Brandt's powerful and moving imagery.  I will let you experience your own reactions and resist the urge to editorialize with just a few exceptions:

The story of Qumquat and many of Brandt's photographs (when not bringing me sheer joy) bring me to absolute tears. 

When an elephant calf, like Qumquat's baby, experiences their mother's death and then even worse is witness to her being butchered by poachers where they literally cut out the face of the elephant and take the tusks, that calf mourns deeply and as in the case of Quanza, she was found keeping vigil over her mother's body.  She was traumatized.  These animals FEEL things deeply.  They are gentle, sensitive and loving creatures.

Anyone buying ivory is just as much a murderer.  I believe there should not only be fines (with the money going to conservation and protection efforts) for anyone in possession of ivory and a criminal charge should be imposed.

Please read the story of Qumquat and her family by clicking on this link.  This next link has more information and a few disturbing photographs, but if you can skip looking at them, you can read about The Rescue of Quanza which includes background on Amboseli where Qumquat lived and a follow-up report.  It is worth reading.

Please donate to Big Life - you can read about their mission here and I am quite sure any amount of a donation is appreciated. 

Here is some more of Nick Brandt's work.  I have not included captions (at least for now), but for this first one since it is another case of the slaughter of a magnificent and majestic Matriarch of her herd.

Elephants Walking Through Grass, Amboseli 2008. Leading Matriarch Killed By Poachers, 2009