WildAid launched a new print public service campaign this month featuring four original works from artist and activist Asher Jay. An extension of the “Say No to Ivory and Rhino Horn” campaigns launched earlier this year with partners African Wildlife Foundation and Save the Elephants, Jay’s works ask China’s residents to imagine Africa’s treasured rhinos and elephants as pandas, the national symbol of China’s own conservation movement. A second set of PSAs asks consumers if they really want to own “blood rhino horn” or “blood ivory.”
“We have long admired Asher Jay’s conservation efforts through her chosen medium,” said WildAid Executive Director Peter Knights. “These new works aim to enhance China’s current conservation efforts, shining a light on their accomplishments while asking them to broaden the impact of their kindness.”
Jay, a New York based artist and a staunch supporter of wildlife preservation, animal rights, sustainable development, and marine conservation, is the first artist to be officially commissioned by WildAid to stop the demand for illegal wildlife products in China. She uses her fashion, art, public speaking, and writing to raise awareness about various ecological and humanitarian initiatives. Her designs for the “Say No to Ivory and Rhino Horn” campaigns in China will be featured on ads in magazines, billboards, and on the Beijing and Shanghai subway.
“I am honored to be chosen as WildAid’s first artist to bring this important message to China,” said Asher Jay. “Their distribution channels will allow this important conservation story to reach hundreds of thousands of current and potential consumers of these by-products of horrific slaughter.”
“By transforming consumers into conservationists, we can directly impact the future of Africa’s rhinos and elephants,” Jay added. “Cultural change is a contagious phenomenon, and comes with a tipping point – it starts with a few, gets adopted by many, and is then condemned by all. It is my daily hope that rhino and elephant conservation is embraced as part of the cultural fabric of China, effectively condemning the trade in horn and ivory.”
“Art is a particularly effective and powerful medium for provoking an emotional response in people,” said African Wildlife Foundation CEO Patrick Bergin. “At the end of the day, we want people to see these ads, react to them on an emotional level, and become advocates for elephants and rhinos rather than consumers of ivory and rhino horn.”
“Africa’s elephants are in a crisis that only a global coalition can solve. Asher’s artwork breaks down borders and brings Africa to the East,” said Iain Douglas-Hamilton, CEO of Save the Elephants. “Africa needs her elephants – China and the world can help her keep them.”
WildAid is currently accepting proposals for original works from artists around the globe. Interested artists and designers should contact Brian Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org.