The Forest Orphanage

Dilla Djalil Daniel, Indonesia

As a documentary photographer who also happens to be an animal lover, my main motivation has been to explore the different facets of the relationship between mankind and the animal kingdom. What speaks to me most are the mysterious forms of communication that can and do exist between us and which I try to capture. I tend to spend a considerable amount of time portraying domestic and wild animals in the form of a photographic narrative. It is most certainly not just a matter of trying to capture images of animals looking cute. The relationship between animals and humans is complex and involves the full range of emotions. This can be evident even if there is a dependency with domesticated animals, let alone with animals in the wild, whose existence is threatened by human presence or activities. What I find particularly poignant is where the relationship between animals and humans involves both abuse and love. Domestic animals – and increasingly animals in the wild – can and do benefit from compassionate and loving intervention by humans. Much of my work attempts to depict this in action. The people involved are often rather underappreciated, but that does not affect their devotion and passion in helping their charges by trying to improve their welfare and health. My intention is to try and speak out on behalf of the animals and those who care for them.

Discover more: Shortlist 2019