North Carolina based photographer Daniel Turbert started his not-for-profit organization The Sentient Project in 2017 and has continued to work towards making a difference in the community. With a particular passion for animals, Turbert aims to inspire compassion through photos that capture his subjects’ true essence.
Daniel Turbert works with animal sanctuaries around the world, taking photos of the animals to help with campaigns and raise awareness of issues effecting the animal kingdom. Turbert has a unique way of capturing a side of animals that truly expresses their sentient nature and emphasizes the need to respect and protect them. His mission is to get people to see animals from a new perspective. He believes that animals are often portrayed as vicious beasts and wants to shift the narrative to capture their sentient side and encourage compassion. Turbert notes that much of our daily behavior effects animals and wants people to be more careful about this and consider changing their habits.
Turbert also directed a short documentary in 2019 that was highly-regarded and won numerous awards including Best Short Documentary at the Anaheim Film Festival. The film is called Cows Come Home and centers on the owners of a sanctuary and the cows that they own. With the sanctuary previously being a cattle farm, the documentary brings awareness to the way that people can and should change their attitudes towards animals and recognize their innate sentience. The film hopes to show that animals are deserving of respect and that we are capable of changing our behaviors to help protect them instead of harm them.
The Sentient Project has now expanded into humanitarian issues such as supporting women in Uganda. Turbert has created a new initiative that involves women in communities in Uganda creating clothing using traditional East African methods. The clothing is then distributed and sold in the US to earn the women some income and help them support themselves and their families. This project is currently being kick started with a fashion show fundraiser. Some of the clothing is also on display at Turbert’s studio in North Carolina.
On top of this, The Sentient Project have started a photojournalism program and have officially sent their first participant in East Africa to study photojournalism at university. This is so that the ability to amplify the voices of the community through photography does not disappear. Turbert is known for his commitment to making an effort to speak up about social justice issues and also participates in panels and speaking events to discuss photography and bring awareness to causes that matter to him.
The Sentient Project, backed by the admirable leadership of Daniel Turbert, continues to make an impact on the lives of many. With plenty of new projects on the way, there’s no doubt that Turbert and his team will strive to keep this momentum going and improve society for all people and all animals through the power of photography.
You can connect with Daniel Turbert at https://danielturbertphotography.com