The French revolution and its legacy, ideas of liberty and equality, seem in an urgent need of actualization: the brotherhood of men first did not include women (enslaved people and children as well), today it still does not include non-human animals. We have reached a different point in time, we need to rethink our position in the world, and rebuild our community with all beings on Earth.
Only then the true meaning of the humanist dream might be brought to light and fulfilled. ‘SHIFTERS’ project started as archival research and a collection of articles about animal spies. Suspicious squirrels, spying dolphins, misidentified stork, nuclear lizards, photographer pigeons — all these animals were accused of spying and appeared in mainstream media. Following the line of thought set by Éric Baratay, a French historian, who coined the term “history from animal point of view” I investigate the visual history of animals in wars and espionage, in services like the Red Cross or police. Most of the images used in this project are the ones circulating on the web, called by Hito Steyerl “weak images”. I am interested in if and how we can construct a valid visual narrative using these “bastard images”, and in analysing the meaning of the term “agent” itself: a spy but as well a subject doing action. Taking into account this interesting twist of animal agency I want to relate the multifaceted history of animals in war to the one of the liberation of animals and their rights. The vast number of topics is explored. My aim with ‘SHIFTERS’ is to try to help the non-human animals voice their presence, concerns and experiences, because they cannot do it themselves easily. The issue of looking beyond the anthropocentric horizon seems to me one of the most pressing and complex of our times. I promote the need for the society to evolve, become more inclusive, and hope for a better future of coexistence between all animals: human and non-human.
Polish photographer, visual artist, filmmaker & cultural manager. Holds MA in Philosophy from Warsaw University. Graduated from Academy of Photography, School of Looking & Open Institute programs in Warsaw. Marta studied at the Home Workspace Program in Beirut & Gender Studies in Warsaw. Currently attending School of Ecopoetics in Warsaw. She lived in Lebanon; created artistic & cultural projects. Member of FUTURES PHOTOGRAPHY, Women Photograph, Archive of Public Protests. Next she will show Open Air Installation at Gibellina Photoroad, in MBAL & Photobiennale Thessaloniki. Shortlisted for ALLEGRO PRIZE 2022. She won Konrad Pustola Scholarship, the Best Film at Afragola & Visioni Urbane Film Festivals, The Views Award, and Selma Lagerlöf Society scholarship. ‘SHIFTERS was published in 2021 & won the PHotoESPANA Best International Photography Book of the Year 2022. Shortlisted for LUMA RENCONTRES DUMMY BOOK AWARD ARLES, KASSEL DUMMY AWARD & MACK First Book Award. She won PHOTO-MATCH PORTFOLIO REVIEW. Marta’s work was shown & published internationally. Marta presented her work at Landskrona Festival, Belfast & Athens Photo Festivals, Circulation(s), PhotoLux & PhotoESPANA. She did Art Residencies: FRESH AIR Berlin, Laimun Residency, Landskrona Foto, Nida Art Colony, Gasworks, & Botkyrka Konsthal. She took part in ‘Re-Tooling Residencies Project’ by CCA Warsaw & participated in workshops e.g. with Vanessa Winship or Francis Alys. Marta created & curated “Fenix cities" project.
Artists in the same place