Contribute. Yes, you!

Viral Pandas | Sneezing Pandas Project | Contribute

Like the Sneezing Baby Panda video, which has had millions of hits on YouTube (nearly 135m at the time of writing), animal imagery spreads around the World Wide Web like a virus, or like a spider’s web, with many incoming and outgoing sources of traffic weaved around the centre, which is the original image or video. This virus spreads silently and forcefully at an alarming rate, like germs from a cold when somebody sneezes. How do we see this, let alone monitor it? How do you feel about the animal subjects? Are they willing passengers on this journey; entitled or not entitled to a choice, or do you feel something else?

You will see from the artist biographies and our influences for the Viral Pandas blog site that we are interested in the tensions that can arise from watching animals and sharing their images on the Internet. There are a lot of wide-eyed animals winning the cute vote online, and a great deal of humour caught on camera – the Sneezing Baby Panda (where Viral Pandas all started) has both of these things. Amidst this there are also a lot of dubious videos and images that mock, undermine, and even abuse the human-animal bond. Who decides if it should be shared online, and is it harmful only in some instances, none, or all?

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Viral Pandas | Sneezing Pandas Project

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2 thoughts on “Contribute. Yes, you!

  1. Hi, we actually own the Sneezing Baby Panda clip. We shot it some years ago whilst we were making a television special on giant panda breeding. It was taken from a broadcast of the programme in Japan without our permission. There is only one site of the hundreds on the net that has our permission to use it. Our position is that if it gives people enjoyment and helps increase awarenss of wild animals and breeding programmes, then it’s okay by us provided the user of the clip isn’t making any money from using it including with paid ads on their site. Our hope is that it might help interest people into looking further into the subject seriously. We’re wildlife filmmakers. We find the one hour slots for wildlife have pretty well gone from television worldwide. Unless it’s big budget programming that can only be done by organizations with resources like the BBC, National Geographic, Discovery, Animal Planet etc. television buyers don’t really want serious subject matter. They certainly don’t want anything they regard as sad with wildlife programming. It’s now hard to get anything up that’s more than consciousness raising/awareness of wild animals in their habitat. Even that’s hard enough. The internet is now pretty much the last bastion. BTW we’re in pre-production of a ‘mockumentary’ for cinema release on the life story of Sneezing Baby Panda including his ancestors. It’s to be tongue-in-cheek. We hope it will contribute to awareness of giant pandas and their habitat albeit in a fictious and humouress way. Good luck with your project!

    Cheers,
    Lesley Hammond.
    Wild Candy Pty. Ltd.,
    Brisbane, Australia.

  2. viralpandas says:

    Hi Lesley, fantastic to hear from you – thanks for taking the time to post here! I’ll make this comment in to a blog post of its own, so that all our readers can share your thoughts 🙂 We’ll be in touch and hope to hear more from you.

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