The LEA interim exhibitions evolve into a true eye-catcher.
This a collage of an installation by Eliza Wierwight. I overlaid a picture from the central hall of the installation with a scene of the movie „How I became an Elephant" of which a short preview is shown there.
I have a soft spot for elephants. Horrible, what is done to them! You can find a lot of informations an pictures inside the installation. „How far would you go to save a species“ is the question at the entrance !
It is a phantastic build. A must visit !
link to the destination
From a notecard at the installation
"Phajaan – ”Crushing" an Elephant’s Spirit: Tourism in Thailand
Contributors: Brandy Michelle (owner), Jude Price, Lek Chailert and Katherine Connor
Phajaan directly translates to "BREAKING OF THE SPIRIT".
— INFO: Phajaan or ‘Crushing’ is the traditional Asian torture of young elephants to break their spirit. It is done so that they are submissive to humans. Baby elephants are prematurely ripped away from their mothers. They are caged, starved, beaten, stabbed, poked and cut, and kept awake for days until they become submissive under the torture.
— HISTORY: Elephants are a common sight in Thailand — Asian Elephants living out their lives as nothing more than workers, a means of bringing in money for the family or camp that owns them. They are used to provide a holiday highlight for any tourist with the money. Top dollar is paid to see the elephant do a range of ”jobs” such as street begging, performing in entertainment shows, painting, and trekking (giving rides to paying tourists).
Unwitting tourists, although smile at the antics of the planet’s most powerful creature, are playing their part in a horrifying story of animal torture.
— THE TRADITION: The Phajaan process originated in hill tribe communities in India and South East Asia, located in areas where elephants naturally occur. The ”ceremony” of Phajaan is said to have originated from the belief that the tribe’s shaman can separate the spirit of an elephant from its body, in effect driving the willful and wild spirit out of an elephant and leaving it under the control of its handlers, i.e. mahouts.
In reality, however, the Phajaan has nothing to do with the separation of spirit, and everything to do with torturing an elephant until it is so fearful of its human captors that it will do anything to avoid being hurt again.
— THE RITUAL: Young elephants are captured from the wild (some may be taken from elephant camps). As elephants naturally protect their babies — mothers having an incredible bond with their young — they are not going to want to give their young up to strangers. Thus, obtaining a baby elephant in the wild involves killing each member of the herd.
Baby elephants are tethered and dragged to a clearing where there sits the crush cage. These fragile elephants will be kept in small crates, their front and back legs bound with ropes, as their limbs will then be stretched.
Repeatedly beaten with sharp metal and other tools, the helpless baby elephants will be constantly yelled and screamed at. They are stabbed, burned and beaten, as well as starved of food and deprived of water.
Bull hooks (a tool used in most forms of elephant control) will be used to stab the animal’s head, slash the skin and tug the ears. Asian elephant used in trekking (elephant rides), circuses or any other form of entertainment, often have shredded or torn ears from their tissue being ripped and pulled away during the training process. They also often have scars on their foreheads from deep lacerations caused by beatings.
The Phajaan may last from several days to weeks, most elephants going through it when they are 3-6 years, but they can be younger depending on the age at which they were taken from their mothers. They have no rest from physical torture and mental domination. Gradually, their spirits are breaking as their handlers achieve control.
In the final stage of the Phajaan, the elephant’s mahout will bring the animal its first meal with water, and will be the one to ”release” the elephant and lead it away from the crate. After weeks of torture of mental and emotional abuse, loneliness, confusion and separation, the elephant sees this human figure as its savior – the one it trusts. This is just another stage of mental and emotional manipulation, of course, but it is how a particular mahout gains such immense control over its animal.
Beatings continue regularly throughout the elephants’ lives to remind them of their place. Some of these abused animals eventually snap from the strain of relentless torture, attacking and killing mahouts and tourists. Often, these elephants are considered too dangerous to continue working and are put down.
*** Phajaan is hell for wildlife in tourism; elephant trekking, street begging & entertainment shows (CIRCUSES & ZOOS, ELEPHANT PAINTING, ELEPHANTS @BEACH RESORTS) are part of a money-making industry.
Please EDUCATE yourself and others! Do not support this cruelty by feeding a street beggar (baby elephant begging for food), riding on an elephant’s back (trekking) or attending a show. ***
* Phajaan Ritual (VIDEO): www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVckvi_gWVo"
The "Somewhere in sl" picture series (or "The Adventures of WuWai in Second Life") is my guide and bookmark folder to wonderful, artful, curious or in other way remarkably sims of second life with travel guide WuWai Chun.
You can find some of the pictures in world at my homeland
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