Images of Nyaru Menteng
Annie Marie Musselman began her conservation project last year when she learned of deforestation by palm oil plantations in Borneo.
Click here to view Annie Marie’s slideshow
Here is what she has written about her exhibition, “For The Innocents”.
“The life we live as humans is, for the most part, something we have created. Our surroundings have affected and changed us. There is a life however, that many animals like orangutans, chimpanzees and elephants lead that is subject to cages, torture, neglect, and forced over-breeding. These are the horrors of captivity.
Animal’s lives have little worth in our culture. Their habitats are ruined for commodities such as palm oil, or soy. They are put into cages, while their bodies are made sick and used for scientific research. These realities cause me to pause and ask, “What makes humans and animals so different that these practices go on unchecked?” I have experienced amazing bonds with animals in my quest for the universal answer to this question.
I sensed that the human world needed to come face to face with creatures in their sanctuaries. My work is encouraged by the belief that if humans witness the innocence and beauty of these animals in my pictures, they will realize what they have lost due to technology, overpopulation, and the rejection of nature, and maybe stop endangering them. It is my intent therefore, to document the world of sanctuaries and animal refugee camps. With the urgent issue of climate change and the state of environmental catastrophe it is important to document the lives of these animals, some on the verge of extinction, and how they are saved by sanctuaries in an artful way. Two of my current projects have come together to create a larger exhibition I am calling For The Innocents.
My animal conservation project began last year when I learned of deforestation by palm oil plantations in Borneo. I visited the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Sanctuary in Central Kalimantan, Borneo with Eco writer, Hillary Rosner. Eleven of the photographs were published in Rosner’s article Searching for Sanctuary in Newsweek, August 2009.
Annie Marie Musselman On behalf of Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Sanctuary