The Human Aquarium Exhibition arrives in Leeds this February and takes us on a journey experienced by confined sea mammals, from their capture, to training, to performing in man-made tanks and pools. It will take place from February 15th-28th 2019 in Unit 3, St John’s Centre, Leeds City Centre. Alongside the Mertography by highly acclaimed photographer Tom Martin, there will be work form local artists and a range of activities to take part in. This includes free family-friendly workshops that are open to the public, as well as a range of participatory activities available throughout the exhibition.

Activities include: Whale Making using recycled materials, Mermaid Mondays, Dolphin Scramble, as well as Plastic Awareness, Film-Making for Activism and a night of Talks. You can add to our wave made entirely of plastic bottles or find out more about local and global action and groups from our ‘small action, big changes’ area. There is an evening of Talks which include the Real Junk Food Project, Leeds Green Peace, the Marine Society, Plastic Free Me and the World Cetacean Alliance. Here we willl be showing an original film created by young people in Armley as part of our #iwill collaboration with Plastic Free Me.

The project uses Mer-folk (performers) in place of marine mammals, to expose how we have become desensitized to the realities of captivity and its effect on these animals. It also looks at the sea of plastic we consume ( literally) and its effects on the worlds oceans.

Using photography, film and live installations, the project parallels the hidden aspects of captivity within the entertainment industry.

Although, the last Dolphinarium closed in the Uk in 1993, these ‘SeaWorld’ style dolphin/orca shows are still a multi-million pound industry. This is despite the success of documentary films such as Blackfish and The Covewhich exposed the cruelty suffered by the captive cetaceans.

The substitution of perforMERs for dolphins and orcas in photos and film aims to engage with the public in land locked cities who may  not be aware of the issues with captivity. The Human Aquarium project will signpost ways we can all appreciate these amazing creatures in the wild, as well as highlight both local and global projects happening that the public can get involved in and support.

For more information visit: Human Aquarium Uk

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