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Alfred waits, 2012

Donna Szoke (Director: Concept and animation)
St. Catharines, Canada

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During the War of 1812 General Brock rode his horse Alfred into battle, and while Brock was killed, Alfred fled the scene alive. Another soldier then mounted Alfred, rode into battle, and Alfred was killed. I have videotaped a horse, and then animated this footage in post-production. These frames are individually hand drawn, in simple line drawing, recreating Alfred as both historical fact, and as an artist’s rendering. The atrocities enacted upon animals in the course of warfare are rarely mentioned in most historic accounts. I think of Franz Marc and his visionary paintings of screaming horses created on the eve of WW1. As a Mongolian-Hungarian Canadian, I'm the first generation to not know horse-handling techniques that have been handed down for centuries. 
In the process of researching this project I found disturbing facts about the current situation of many horses. American horses are shipped to Canada for slaughter, but there are no laws governing the state in which these horses are shipped, many of whom experience long painful journeys on broken limbs. According to HSI, 90,000 horses were slaughtered in Canada in 2011. The original model for this project, Floyd, is the first inhabitant of “The Last Chance Horse and Pony Rescue” in Lake Erie, ON. Please support Bill C-322. This work was created for ‘Here 2012,’ a site-specific public art project using QR codes on view in the Niagara Region of Ontario from 2012 - 2015.