SA photographer hand selected by Tyra Banks for Magazine Cover shoot!

Justin Sullivan has been nominated for Andrei Stenin Contest award for an image that hits home and has many discussing the global poaching problem.


Cape Town, South AfricaJustin Sullivan is a Documentary Photographer – specialising in Cape Wild Fires. He was born in the small town of Eshowe, South Africa.

After completing his secondary schooling at the all-boys-boarding school Michaelhouse, Justin studied Development and Environmental Studies at the University of Stellenbosch. Justin completed majors in Geography and Environmental Studies, Public and Development Management, and a half-major in Sociology.

Justin now focusses his work on highlighting contemporary issues within South Africa, using photography to display insights into an unknown world. His documentary work from numerous Wild Fires around Cape Town has been highly recognised both locally and internationally, with various publications for print and online media.

Aside from his wildfire photography, he has a passion for fighting just causes and creating awareness. He is now nominated for an international photography award for an image that is truly heartbreaking.

The image is of a brutally mutilated elephant at the hands of poachers. The aerial view of the elephant carcase speaks volumes, and Justin hopes it will spark a meaningful conversation.

“I’ve been holding onto this image for months, awaiting the right opportunity to share it… It’s an emotional process for me, but having my ‘Disconnection’ photo announced as a finalist in the Stenin Contest is both exciting and heartbreaking… It’s exciting to see that an important issue will make headlines around the world and ignite new interest in the conversations surrounding Elephant poaching – It’s also heartbreaking as a reminder of the ecological loss we are currently facing. This specific elephant was slaughtered in an extremely inhumane manner and the photo represents just how isolated and disconnected not only the elephant was in that moment, but how disconnected we are from the situation.” – Justin Sullivan, Documentary Photographer

Due to the graphic nature of the image, we have opted not to publish it here. But if you wish to view it, you can do so by clicking here. It is hard to see images like this, but without them, we cannot feel outraged, and without outrage, we cannot act. Justin hopes this image will spark something in people and more will add their voices to the anti-poaching movement.

“Human-wildlife conflict is the disconnection between us and the wild. We need empathy now more than ever before, for both humans and wildlife.

Botswana is home to one-third of the African Elephant population and recent findings from “Evidence of a Growing Elephant Poaching Problem in Botswana” estimates that in Northern Botswana (Where this very image was taken) fresh Elephant carcasses increased by 593% from 2014 to 2018… with a minimum of 385 elephants poached in Botswana in 2017–2018…

Through this image and the incredible platform, the ‘Andrei Stenin Contest’ provides, including a World Exhibition Tour, I hope to reignite conversations and questions about the future of Africa’s largest mammal, coupled with the overwhelming ecological loss we are currently facing.” – Justin Sullivan, Documentary Photographer

We hope our proudly South African photographer gets the recognition he deserves for this heartbreaking image.

Sources: Supplied
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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