Hyena Life is a research project insupport of life strategies that create autonomy rather than dependency on large-transnational entities. Looking at the perpetuating tradition of 15th century colonialism and the neoliberal governance of the 20th century, we find these periods to have established a solid foundation of unhealthy and unethical world order. The symptoms include mass destruction and robbing of natural resources, unequal wealth distribution, devaluing of local craftsmanship and disempowering of certain cultures. Our research will not focus on those symptoms or the colonial and neoliberal structures, but instead look for examples that are shaping the alternative. By documenting instances and distributing them, we hope to research healthier, more humane, and more sustainable ways of life.
Hyenas are adept survivors in the savanna, outnumbering other African carnivorous mammals. They survive by a strong and rather complex social structure. Cubs are brought up communally by a mother hyena, who provides food not only for her own offspring, but also for other cubs. The wounded and old hyenas get equal share if not more. They also have a powerful digestive system with highly acidic fluids, making them capable of eating and digesting their entire prey, including skin, teeth, horns and bones, leaving minimum waste. Their strong survival characteristics based on their strong sense of community, partnership through building strength and ability to gain from versatile resources became the symbol of our project.