Photo of Biggs Orca T137a - by Madison O'Connell
About Madison (Media by Mads)
Hey I’m Madison, one-third of cetaceans.org and the person behind Media by Mads. I’m a visual communicator from the UK who uses a variety of visual media to communicate marine conservation, animal welfare and environmental topics, with the aim of educating and inspiring everyday people to take action for the natural world.
For as long as I can remember I’ve always had a fascination with whales and dolphins, and the underwater world. Growing up I was fortunate to have a Dad who shared my passion the ocean. We would go whale watching and snorkelling at every available opportunity, but while I grew up watching whales and dolphins in the wild, I was also taken to marine parks. When I was in secondary school my art teacher encouraged me to pick up a camera and this is where it all started for me. Fast forward five years and I decided to combine my love for wildlife and photography by studying a degree in Marine and Natural History Photography at Falmouth University in the UK.
Photo by Jo Phillips
In 2018 I was part of a small team who travelled to the Galápagos Islands to work with the Charles Darwin Foundation and The Galápagos Conservation Trust. During my time on the Islands, I directed a short film on how plastic pollution is affecting the Galápagos Islands, this film was later screened at Galapagos Day at the Royal Geographical Society in London.
In 2019 I produced ‘Tails of Confinement’, a short film where I openly documented my personal journey from being taken to marine parks as a child, to growing up and realising the dark truth about cetacean captivity. The film has reached nearly 20,000 people online and has enabled me to connect with people from all over the world, just a few months after the film was released I was invited to speak at the Free Lolita protest in London.
To this day cetacean captivity is at the heart of my work, collaborating with organisations and committed individuals to raise awareness, educate and empower people to speak up for cetaceans.
When I don't have a camera in my hand, I can usually be found swimming in cold water, trail running, hiking or hanging out with my 35 year-old rescue Shetland pony, Haymish.
Thank you for diving in and getting me to know me and my work.
Watch 'Tails of Confinement'
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“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead