Brent Stapelkamp at Anastasia Photo
Anastasia Photo is pleased to present Hwange: Cecil’s Kingdom, Brent Stapelkamp’s first exhibition at the gallery.
Brent Stapelkamp has served as a lion researcher with Oxford University’s Hwange Lion Research Project for the past 10 years. He found himself at the epicenter of the “Cecil Storm” in 2015, as he was the last person to collar and photograph the beloved lion before his senseless slaughter in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park. Anastasia Photo began their relationship with Brent in 2013 by providing the funds for Brent to purchase tracking collars for his lions. Cecil was wearing his tracking collar the day he was lured off camp and senselessly slaughtered.
The exhibition is a record of Hwange National Park’s inhabitants and their precarious position in a world of in- frastructure and boundaries. “Thousands of hours in the company of lions meant I got a unique perspective of their lives and the threats that they face,” says Stapelkamp. Hwange’s only boundary between protected territory and legal hunting grounds is a railway line. It was this railroad that Cecil was lured over before meeting his death. Brent is devoted to finding ways for people and wildlife to sustainably coexist. His body of work encourages view- ers to realize these animals’ increasingly challenging place in the world. These and other select works have been published in National Geographic’s PROOF, the BBC, CNN and The Telegraph, among others.
As a result of the media and documentation surrounding Cecil’s killing, an international outcry pushed 42 airlines to reaffirm bans on wildlife trophy shipments on their carriers. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have listed lions in central and West Africa as endangered, and those in southern and East Africa as threatened, and trophies of endangered lions are prohibited in the United States.
Anastasia Photo specializes in Documentary Photography and Photojournalism. The gallery space also serves as a center for discussion and portfolio review. In an attempt to further connect these photographic images and the events they depict, Anastasia Photo endows each exhibition with a related philanthropic organization. Hwange: Cecil’s Kingdom is paired with Panthera, the global wild cat conservation organization. Panthera’s mission is to ensure a future for wild cats and the vast landscapes on which they depend.
Brent Stapelkamp, Hwange: Cecil’s Kingdom is on view at Anastasia Photo until June 3, 2016 at 143 Ludlow St, New York, NY