In 2008, I started work on the first of 3 books, documenting the industry behind the wildlife in sub Saharan Africa. Not just the animals, but the growing industry that surrounds them. The first of these books ‘hunters’ explores the complex relationship that man has with animal, through the eyes of the tourist trophy hunter.
In the 19th Century these hunters would have been from aristocratic backgrounds, the monied elite of Europe and America. Today’s hunters are hedge fund managers, surgeons, dentists, attorneys, and their wives and children. They have the option to attend ‘safari’ training schools in their home countries, shooting remote controlled Elephants, Leopards, and Lions. Most have a place for their trophies in their homes back in the US and Europe, long before they even arrive in Africa. They have expectations of Africa, and these must be met by an industry priding itself on the fact that size does matter.
Bloodied hunter # V, South Africa.
Photographed in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, the son of a hunter. Hunters consider taking their children to Africa to hunt their first prey, a rite of passage. There is a tradition that when a hunter takes their first ‘kill’ they a daubed with the animals blood, in this case a Springboks.
— Photographer David Chancellor on his series ‘Hunters.’ Support his project on Kickstarter here.