Monday, July 7, 2008

Carole: By Danielle Voirin

In October a calf was born on a farm in Normandy. The French family named her Carole. Danielle Voirin, the ex-pat Paris-based photographer was visiting her friends on the farm and she began photographing Carole. She learned the calf was specially bred for veal. "I met her on day two of her life, knowing she was destined to be meat," says Danielle. Carole was tethered to a rope in a small room her entire life. She drank only milk. And from her place in the small barn she could only see one view – another little barn, some bales of hay, the sliver of sky, a tree. She would be slaughtered in the spring for meat for the family.

Danielle returned many times to the farm to see her friends and to photograph Carole. "My intention was to be her witness, follow the transformation, link a life and a face to what I see on a plate, and eliminate the disconnect," she says. Then, this past March, Carole, having reached the optimum size, she was scheduled to be killed. Danielle, who had since bonded with the calf through half a dozen photo sessions, asked the abattoir if she could be there to document Carole's death. "At first they said yes, but the morning I showed up – at 5:30 am – they turned me away, telling me it was impossible." Danielle stood her ground but the bouchers closed the door and only allowed her in once Carole had been butchered and placed in boxes.

"Carole" is Danielle's one-page-book homage to the calf. Designed in an A3-format for Danielle as she makes her way to Rencontres Arles Photographie, in Arles, France (8 juillet - 14 septembre). Lalande Digital Press's unique one-page-book format provided an excellent way to tell Carole's story in a mini-catalog. Carole is also available here for free download in A4: DOWNLOAD "CAROLE" BY DANIELLE VOIRIN.

Do you want your own one-page-book? CLICK ICI : for a free estimate/devis et on peut commencer toute de suite! [e-mail: MATTHEW.ROSE.PARIS AT GMAIL.COM]


Anonymous said...


Most of us are so disconnected from our meat. A century ago this would have been normal to all of us. Now it makes me sad.

It makes me want to really commit to being a vegetarian. If I can't face killing my meat, I can't really eat it, can I?



1. Young Kids have no clue where food comes from < Ed_45 > 07/08 19:52:00

In their minds it comes from the grocery store... and have no conception of the work that it takes for farmers to raise produce, animals and then the process of getting it to the market.

There was a time when the majority knew of what it took... but that time is long past and we need to educate the young about that process.

2. I am by no means a young kid < cereal-killer > 07/08 20:29:20

but I did grow up in a suburb where meat was something that came from grocery stores in cellophane wrapped containers. I have never witnessed or taken part in an animal slaughter.

when I was old enough to realize where meat came from I stopped eating it because it made me squeemish.

I still crave it and sometimes eat it.

I felt like having a chicken burrito today. but at the restaurant I went to they had a sign that said, "farm raised chicken", which reminded me that chickens are "raised" because they were once "alive". this made it so that while I was still very much craving the burrito, not having eaten all day, I had a hard time choking it down because the word "raised" kept flashing in my mind as I bit into the chicken.

3. what about fishing ? < Ed_45 > 07/08 20:35:05

can you catch, clean, cook & eat fish without the same concerns ?

4. I feel a pang for the worm. § < PhilStein > 07/08 22:27:29

5. Yes they do...When Mom took Bucky our < Shirleyhath > 07/09 03:59:33

baby calf in (I was 5) and put him on the table. We all refused to eat (8 of us), she pulled all the meat out of the freezer and went and had coffee with Aunt Betty. Brought it back and said she traded for different calf. Then we had no problem eating it then.

Danielle said...

I ate Carole for a week after she died, sharing her with several friends who were all conscious of her life. We always called her by name, "blanquette de Carole", "escalope de Carole..." rather than veal. I thought I would have difficulty eating an animal I knew, which was one of the main points of doing the project, but I didn't. During each meal I thought of her, thanked her for the energy and protein she was giving my body, and hoped she was in a peaceful place. I had to maintain awareness of her as an animal and not just 'meat.' She was treated very well compared to what we see in the supermarket.

And, I got positive responses to my one-page-Carole at Arles. It's a very fun and unique way to make contacts with your work. Almost everyone unfolds it and you have to help them put it back together.

Badaude said...

But also yummy...