Protest Project – Introduction

We were introduced to our new project which we will be working on for the next 4 weeks, still part of our field module (collaborate) but this time collaborating with students from the Illustration course. The project is entitled protest looking at how designers and illustrators have the power to create change within the world and working in our collaborative groups to create a live protest.

During the keynote lecture we were given a series of examples of protests such as the pro-suffrage, anti war and smaller protest like Clare road Cardiff.  This work highlight to me that protest come in different forms some can be an act, some can be very active others can be more peaceful. This keynote lecture gave me more of an insight into protests and how different they can be.

After a group building task getting to know our teams we were introduced to our first task of creating a manifesto for our protest. Before thinking about the content of our protest we spoke about our strengths as a group and thought about how we could utilises these in our project. We started by brainstorming different ideas that we could protest about, this was an interesting activity because it enables us as a team to see which ideas were strongest and see which ones we felt most passionately about while still creating something innovative. Our ideas ranged from deforestation to companies exploiting their customers, as these were things that various members seemed passionate about. In the end we felt that looking at the exotic pet trade was going to be an interesting topic as it’s something that people have heard about but might not necessarily known much about, with the aim to raise awareness around the issue.

Initial Ideas Notes


We thought that it would be best to go away and start researching different areas that concerned the topic, in order to feedback to the group during our next day together. This would also better inform our ideas before we designed our manifesto, and other aspects of the project. We split the research up equally so each person had a different area, I had to look at general statistics and facts around the pet trade.

I started my research by using a conducting a google search, from this search I found that there was an overwhelming amount of facts surrounding this horrific trade. According to PETA these traders encourage the public to view animals as an impulse purchase rather than thinking about them as beings who deserve love and respects. The transportation for the animals is deadly as many die due to the conditions which they are forced into.

Parrots might have their beaks and feet taped and be stuffed into plastic tubes that can easily be hidden in luggage, and stolen bird and reptile eggs are concealed in special vests so that couriers can bypass X-ray machines at airports.3 Baby turtles have been taped so that they are trapped inside their shells and shoved by the dozen into tube socks, and infant pythons have been shipped in CD cases.’

Other research highlighted that the WWF estimates there there are 5,000 tigers being kept in backyards in the UK, and only 3,000 left in the wild. Animals kept in captivity are less likely to breed which could lead to a species extinction. According the one green planet, 28,300 freshwater turtles are traded each day and over 80% are in danger of extinction due to this trade.

A BBC article from 2016 stated that within the UK more than 100 councils have issued licences to people who keep undomesticated animals at home. Shockingly 15 wolves are registered at UK addresses, 145 ostriches, 13 tigers, 9 pumas and 8 leopards are being kept privately. However, these figures only include the animals that have legally been licensed and there could be hundreds more being kept without a licence.

From completing this initial research I have gained more knowledge surrounding the topic and I feel that I am now more equipped to protest and raise awareness.  Personally I found that through this research I have become more educated around the subject and feel that this is something that more people need to be made aware off.

PETA (2018) Available at: (Accessed: 15th January 2019)
PETA (2019) Available at: 15th January 2019)
Good. K (2016) 10 shocking facts about how illegal wildlife trade drive species extinction Available at: (Accessed: 15th January 2019)
BBC News (2016) Wild animals at UK homes include lions zebras and crocodiles. Available at: (Accessed 15th January 2019)


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