The Dolphins Love Freedom Network is a group of environmentalists working to protect terrestrial and aquatic environments. However, their main concentration is to stop dolphin slaughter and exploitation around the world. The organization’s work has used in the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove and have contributed dolphin rescue programs in Egypt, Singapore, and the Solomon Islands.
“In painting, you can convey your message, and the people would notice,” said mural artist Amado Guerrero Saño,. Studying dolphins for over 11 years, Saño founded the Dolphins Love Freedom Network in 2010 with his murals. When asked, why dolphins? He responded, “It turned out that the clips I earlier saw on CNN were from the [then upcoming] documentary. That’s when I also learned that in Japan, particularly in Taiji, they supposedly have this quota to kill 23,000 dolphins each year.” Saño decided to use his art to draw attention to the killings. A mission was thus born: To paint a total of 23,000 dolphins, matching the number of casualties in the annual slaughter.
His mission intended to give the dolphins a voice. In 2010, he entered the activism scene by joining the Araneta ColiseiumDolphin Protest in December. Remarkably, this was the day he painted his 23,000th dolphin and beganhis Dolphins Love Freedom Network. Through the murals, a voice turned into a movement, and that movement has extended throughout the Philippines. Murals resembling dolphins and the mimicry of nature’s‘gifts’ are now creeping within cityscapes.
Who would’ve believed that a movement of murals and paintings spanning across 300 different walls in Lipa City counted the participation of 26,000 people in 25 provinces throughout the country? From his work, Saño is also a recent recipient of the World Wide Fund for Nature-Philippines(WWF) Hero for Environment Award for his delivery and message in his artwork to stop the slaughter and captivity of the dolphins around his country and the world.
With the spontaneity of the Dolphins Love Freedom Network, the emotional appeal of the cause and the murals surged interest in the subject. One has to question if other environmental groups can learn from Saño. But even with growing widespread awareness, he will never settle with the movement.
“For as long as there are still dolphins that are being captured for shows…for me, the campaign will never be over,” Saño said.