Photography Exhibition from APA and Jo-Anne McArthur's Book "HIDDEN"

Photography Exhibition from APA and Jo-Anne McArthur's Book "HIDDEN"

On Saturday, April 1, 2023, at the Technopolis City of Athens under the auspices of the Municipality of Athens, the opening of the photography exhibition "HIDDEN" took place. The theme of the exhibition is the exploitation of animals by humans, revealing the reality that remains hidden behind closed doors. The exhibition was hosted on two floors. The first floor featured photographs from around the world, while the lower floor displayed photographic material and findings from two significant research projects conducted by the organization in Greece over the last eighteen months, specifically in Greek pig and poultry farms.

The inauguration was attended by figures from the political and artistic community. Greetings were given by the President of Technopolis, Mr. Konstantinos Dedes, and the Mayor of Athens, Mr. Konstantinos Bakoyannis, with introductory remarks by Ms. Olga Kikou, Director, and Ms. Erietta Kourkoulou-Latsi, Founder of the nonprofit organization A Promise to Animals.
In his greeting, Mr. Dedes spoke about the importance of empathy, values of animal welfare, and love for animals, which are cultivated through family, and shared with the attendees personal experiences and stories from his childhood to the present. Mr. Bakoyannis stated, "Through this exhibition, we have the opportunity to send a strong message, considering that the abuse and sadism depicted in these harsh images may extend into our homes, our streets, our neighborhoods. A change in mindset comes only through information and through such significant initiatives. I would like to thank the organizers and hope for the day when such exhibitions will no longer be necessary."
Ms. Kikou, speaking with data and statistics, highlighted the problem on a global level, the lack of laws and guidelines, and the inability to enforce and comply with existing rules. Finally, Ms. Kourkoulou-Latsi focused on our communication with animals, stating, "The fact that animals cannot speak to us unfortunately works against them, but the notion that they do not have a voice is also a lie. They use thousands of other ways to communicate their feelings. They scream as they approach the slaughterhouse. They tremble seeing their family and friends being butchered before their eyes. They know very well what is coming. They thrash and fight with all their strength to stay alive."

Perhaps the most powerful "strike" at the "HIDDEN" photography exhibition, held in Gazi, was not the images filled with blood, violence, or slaughterhouses, but the penetrating gaze of the animals, which initially made visitors feel awkward and eventually… guilty. The exhibition remained open to the public until April 6th, and then traveled to Thessaloniki for the Vegan Life Festival 2023.

The presence of APA at the festival sent very optimistic messages regarding raising awareness of animal welfare issues. Over the course of the 2 days, more than 3000 visitors saw the exhibition and engaged with the organization. It is worth noting that people not only looked at the photographs but also read the captions and the findings of the research we had posted. The interest was genuine, and the exhibition's theme sparked conversations. Even parents with children chose to view the photos together, supporting the idea that everyone - young and old - should know what is happening in reality and make their own decisions.
This initiative, beyond its significant resonance, evoked intense emotions. From tears to anger and disappointment, even in people who are not vegans.