Bubblegum Haze, 2016
Archival Pigment Print. 40 x 25 in
Growing up, I was a Disney movie fanatic. Out of all the animated feature films I watched, Bambi resonated most strongly with me. The vivid memory of the deer's mother being shot and killed felt as if a close friend had died. Saddened and confused, I cried every time. With passing time, I realized that children possess a unique characteristic: an ability to express their emotions without a sense of being judged.
This realization caused me to think about how children have yet to be influenced by society and how this may result in their ability to be more empathetic than adult human beings. Specifically, before the exposure to advertisements and other media, children intuitively understand that it is unjust to cause the suffering of other sentient beings like animals. To understand how a prejudice in our capacity to empathize with other sentient beings develops from a young age to adulthood, I began to ask how a human can intentionally and, in most cases, unintentionally grow to support the unfair treatment of non-human animals.
Motivated by this question, cultures from all over the world were analyzed to acquire insight into why animals, depending on the region, are given different consideration and treatment. I became interested in a particular ideology that has been passed on, predominantly subconsciously, and rationalized as being ordinary and necessary.
Bubblegum Haze aims to reflect upon our constructed belief system and shines a light on how ideologies and their consequences may be so entrenched in our society that speciesism, the assumption of human superiority leading to the exploitation of animals, essentially becomes invisible and forgotten. These concealed actions based on false and outdated principles result in a world of blind followers who mimic one another while seeking normalization. Shown in the image above are waves of writing delivered from twenty-two different animal rights activists describing their childhood memory about the animals that are commonly consumed.