The other day I saw James Mollison show and talk about his photos of gorillas, bonobos, orang-utans and chimpanzees. Passport photos. Close-ups of astonishing and astonishingly varied faces. Stunning, beautiful, ugly pictures, more eloquent than a thousand words about the kinship of people and apes and the sad stories of baby apes orphaned by wars and by the trade in bush-meat.
A quiet, unpretentious man, he murmured the name of each ape as they appeared on the screen. He recounted how his willingness to engage in mutual grooming eased relations. How one female took a shine to him, rolled over and offered herself every time she saw him. ‘It was, uh, very awkward’, he said. The whole audience smiled from ear to ear.
¶ 6:50 pm