Short film portraying the contemporary art event, initiated by SHIFTING VALUES and OceanCare, #StayWild in Vienna to end dolphin hunts.

Last Friday, December 18th, up to 50 striped dolphins were brutally killed in the infamous cove of Japanese fishing village Taiji. Immediately after this, fishing boats left the port to drive a yet unknown number of striped and bottlenose dolphins into the cove and block their escape route by means of nets.

These dolphin hunts in Japanese waters are subject to strong protests worldwide and also prompted Viennese Contemporary Artists Axel Just and Benjamin Fillitz to create the driving statement #StayWild with an aim to foster dialogue between dolphin conservationists and Japanese decision makers. Prior to the action Ric O’Barry, former ‘Flipper’ trainer and main protagonist of Oscar winning documentary THE COVE, asked for a meeting with representatives of the Japanese embassy during his stay in Vienna. However, this was categorically refused.

The image #StayWild has been inspired by the centuries-old culture of Japan and includes the Japanese characters for ‘animal’, ‘nature’, ‘wildness’ and ‘freedom’ as well as an archaic dolphin illustration. The action by the two artists in cooperation with Ric O’Barry was initiated by Viennese campaigns agency SHIFTING VALUES and marine conservation organisation OceanCare to support Ric O’Barry’s working in Japan.

“Refusing dialogue is usually a sign that there is something to hide. Our action is a call for dialogue and respectfully delivers a clear message: Stay Wild!”, says Nicolas Entrup, internationally active species conservation campaigner, on behalf of the initiators.