Perspectives: Human Nature, Animal Culture

Perspectives is a recurring program that invites local community members to interpret a work of art from Human Nature, Animal Culture: Selections from the Frye Art Museum Collection through their own distinct lens.

On March 22, 2022, Masra Clamoungou took participants “behind the art” and into his perspective on the human-animal connection as he shared some of his experiences working with and raising farm animals. Noting the differences between animals inhabiting urban and rural settings, the insights drawn from the presentation helped shed a light on some of the deeper knowledge and sentiments that can be drawn from a life with agrarian animals. Together, Clamoungou and participants explored the ways industrialization and centralized infrastructure have impacted the humble pig and how humans have come to interact with this familiar creature.

About the Presenter

Masra Clamoungou is the Farm Manager at Small Axe Farm, a farm site operated by the Black Farmers Collective. The Collective is an organization that also operates Yes Farm, an urban farm in Seattle that is just minutes away from the Frye Art Museum. Clamoungou has spent the last five years studying and working in the field of sustainable agriculture and food systems. Born and raised in South Seattle, Masra did not have any exposure to farming or agrarianism while growing up, but a few key experiences instilled within him a passion for the good work of farming and growing food. He began his farming career in earnest with the Seattle Youth Garden Works program, working on a mid-sized urban farm on the UW campus. He then went on to intern and work on a few different farms in the Sammamish Valley north of Seattle, where he now farms at Small Axe with the Black Farmers Collective and raises pastured pork. Up until the COVID-19 pandemic, Masra was attending a BA program in sustainable agriculture at Sterling College in rural Kentucky, where he was first introduced to working with, learning from, and raising larger farm animals.