Benjamin HuntPerformance, 2022, Grantee Link >
Benjamin Hunt is a performance artist who explores our relationship with non-human animals and uses probe performance as a tool to bring about positive change in the social justice movement. He received a grant for “The Plague Dogs,” a shadow-puppet show based on Richard Adams’ novel of the same name, about two dogs who escape a laboratory, and navigate toward liberation while being pursued by humans and their traumatic memories. Benjamin writes that children will receive:
…an understanding and appreciation of a sentient being, and what actions we (as humans) can take to minimize their suffering. [The show] will look to shift a cultural passivity to animal objectification to an active opposition to these practices, by appealing to a captivated audience of children: the future culture-setters.
In September 2022, Benjamin sent us an update. The script, he said, was continuing to develop and he was creating “a teaching pack to compliment the performance.”
Benjamin’s belief in puppetry’s educative potential for communities and children is shared by 2023 grantee Gustavo López in Colombia, where his Teatro Tironeta is helping children and families to value opossums.
Benjamin made an invaluable contributor as a voice artist to “Martin’s Act @ 200,” CAF’s radio documentary about two hundred years of animal advocacy following the passing of The Cruel Treatment of Cattle Act in July 22, 1822, sponsored by Irish Member of the British Parliament Richard “Humanity Dick” Martin.