Leather is a Rip-Off! Fashion industry abuse of animals.
During fashion week Berlin 2018 PETA - the German organisation for the protection of animals - organized the first ever performance to take place in Berlin to demonstrate against the use of leather within the fashion industry. All people who attend demos from PETA are supporters who give their voice to animals voluntarily and in their spare time as they care about their well-being.
We contacted Johanna Fuoß, PETA Fachreferentin für Tiere in der Bekleidungsindustrie and she told us as followes:
We portrayed a human getting skinned alive to encourage visitors of the fashion week and designers to think about the origin of animal leather. Animals feel pain just as we do. For every bag, jacket or shoe made of leather animals have their throats cut and some are even skinned and dismembered while they are still conscious. Every single one of us can help to stop animal cruelty by choosing vegan fashion.
Because most people refuse to wear real fur and designers are getting creative with luxurious faux furs, PETA wants to shine a spotlight on the other victims of fashion—those suffering for the leather trade. Leather is one of the most valuable products of the meat industry, which means that it is a direct contributor to the horrors of factory farming and the slaughter of millions of animals each year. By “skinning” a person alive, we want to highlight the fact that in Germany alone, more than 330.000 cows are skinned while being fully conscious as stunning technologies often fail.
But the suffering of animals for leather products is widespread and worldwide. In India PETA Germany exposed that cows have their tails broken and chili peppers and tobacco rubbed into their eyes in order to force them to get back up and walk after they collapse on the long routes towards slaughterhouses. In Brazil another PETA Germany exposé showed young calves being branded with hot irons in their faces and workers used painful electroshocks to get cows to move forward. A PETA Asia investigation in China revealed that dogs are bludgeoned and killed so that their skin can be turned into leather gloves, belts, jacket collar trim, cat toys, and other accessories that are sold all around the globe.
Leather also wreaks havoc on the environment as the skins are loaded with chemicals to keep them from decomposing. Tanneries are notorious for polluting the surrounding land and water, and tannery workers are often exposed to excessive amounts of toxic chemicals, including formaldehyde. Tannery effluent also contains large amounts of other pollutants, such as lime sludge, sulfides, and acids. Factory-farm runoff is a leading source of water pollution making the leather industry one of the most polluting businesses in the world.
Fortunately Producing leather without harming animals and nature is becoming a reality with science and innovation. BOSS Menswear now offers high-quality vegan shoes made of pineapple leather, a material known as Piñatex. MuSkin recreates the texture of leather with mushrooms and Modern Meadow can grow skin without using animals by using biotechnology. There a many cruelty-free alternatives to leather and with our protest we are asking people and designers to use it.
We hope that further performances will follow for the upcoming Fashion Weeks in Berlin and other cities around the globe.
Inner Africa. Uwe Michael Neuman. Photography and Historical Objects from the Artist's African Collection. Curated by Lily Fürstenow at gh36 Berlin-Mitte. European Month of Photography. Opening 2.10.2018
Lily Fürstenow. exhibition Curator with artist Uwe Michael Neumann
The opening speech. Dr. Lily Fürstenow. Curator
Artist Tomouko Ueno, Lily Fürstenow and Uwe Michael Neumann
Exhibition guests. Adam Chalk. gh36. Co-Curator
With artist Uwe Michael Neumann and Franziska Le Wirs
Initiation Mask for young ladies on their 15th birthday
Statuettes used as identification of persons
Artist Uwe Michael Neumann wearing a historical African robe
Contemporary African robe
Project space GH36 is pleased to announce the exhibition Inner Africa presenting works byphotographer Uwe Michael Neumann together with historical objects from his private African collection. The photographic diary of central African dazzling land- and seascapes, moments from everyday life in big cities, snapshots of animals span throughout the 3 years of the photographer's life and work in various central African states. The historical statuettes, masks and other ritual objects from his private collection - many of which are rare and valuable collectibles - impress and kindle our admiration for African art, ethnology, rituals and customs. Among the ongoing discourse on the issue of restitution to the African museums of the valuable objects once taken away and now parts of big museum collections all over the world – the pieces from this private collection present a small yet rich portion of the enormous African cultural heritage within the postcolonial discourse. How much do we actually know about Africa except for the established clichéesof exotic nature, safari and promise of adventure? To what extent is this exhibition a projection of our fantasies about this vast continent with its traumatic past and it's troubled present? Just to note - it was in Berlin in year 1888 when the European imperial powers met to divide the African continent into colonies – which was a purely bureaucratic procedure of drawing borders – actually rectangular areas of land - that were subsequently distributed as colonies between the European empires of the time – all this irrespective of the actual borders of the existing African countries. Since then not much has changed about the state borders in Africa. This exhibition wouldn't solve all these issues but just point to them.
African Robe. Fabric
ARE/Artistic Research Encounters
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