Hermann Brandt WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS - FIGHT BACK
WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS - FIGHT BACK6h x 4w
Unable to wait for international pressure, negotiations or education and a change of policies to take effect, a black rhino explodes into a poacher’s camp. The tables are suddenly turned. In the snorting chaos of dust and breaking branches, shouts and flying debris, poachers scramble to avoid the lethal flailing of the very horn they have come to harvest. The terror and desperation of this moment affords us a zoomorphic glimpse into life as a threatened species.
The clay began taking shape out of a raw place in my heart. Rhinos always seemed to be as solid as the granite boulders of a lowvelt koppie; now they were being poached right IN the national parks! At the current rate of slaughter, rhino killings will exceed births within two to four years. The last of these animals will then be picked off one by one until the species is gone forever.
Previous guerilla-war tactics have recently found a new battleground. In a bloody war for horn and ivory, a fight rages in hidden places all over the African bush on a daily basis. Deep-seated corruption and greed within government ranks has created an environment conducive to the illegal trade of animal products. Unscrupulous dealers take advantage of the desperate poverty of those marginalized by the leaders they voted into positions of authority, and effectively turn ordinary locals into poachers. However complex the dynamic, as always, the most vulnerable suffer.
Diplomacy, tolerance and negotiation are the tools used by developed nations to overcome problems and differences. But massive disparities in culture, worldview and socio-economic realities seem to render such tactics ineffective in the developing world. In my view, another approach is clearly needed. Maybe this small bronze will inspire us to take a much more direct approach.
The freeze-frame climax of the bronze shows the rhino grinding an AK 47 into the ground, triumphant – if only for this moment – in the battle for its own survival.
The message should be clear to us all – WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS – FIGHT BACK!
WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS – FIGHT BACK! Is a personal response to the poaching epidemic currently sweeping Southern Africa.