While walking in the woods, I came across a herd of wild boars, among which I noticed a breeding pig. I was surprised to see her, and even more surprised by the expression on her faces, which resembled a smile. The lightness and a lively look, the freedom and happiness could be felt in every movement.
Photographing in the pigs sanctuary, I saw exactly the same as in the forest, although it was only a substitute for this wild freedom. These animals were really smiling, they were just so happy.
I heart many horrible stories to do with industrial breeding, but in the refuge I also heard these beautiful, breathtaking ones about the restoration of life, teaching the rescued animals what wind, sky, earth and grass are…. I noticed a certain analogy between the story of Ophelia, the heroine of Shakespeare’s play „Hamlet”, and the fate of the incapacitated farm animals who were deprived of the ability to make their own decisions.

The main inspiration for my photograph was John Everett Millais’ painting „Ophelia”, which shows the scene of death as an act of liberation. Ophelia Millais as in Shakespeare’s play, sings as she dying. My Ophelia is a pig that has escaped from breeding. Stunned by the colours, smells and light, she fell into a forest pond. As she drowns, she smiles for the last time and looks up to the sky as a happy and free creature.
The photo is an allegory for the burial of all animals from industrial farms. I firmly believe that our choices can change their fate. By reducing meat consumption and choosing farms that respect animal rights, we can truly bring about change.
I would like to dedicate this photo to all the volunteers who help the animals in their drama in the „human” world.
Thank you for your help: the animal sanctuary ”Chrumkowo" and „Pegasus”.
2021, Photography. Limited edition 8 + 2AP, print on the cotton Fine Art paper, 1850×670 mm


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