The Kerulos Center is partner in exciting new projects of Cyril Christo and Marie Wilkinson who are bringing their their book on African elephants, Walking Thunder, to film. The film, Lysander's Song, premiers September 27, 2011 at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York City.
Their third book, In Predatory Light, is “a testament to beings without whom we have no intermediaries before the cosmos. We hope that by seeing the magnificence of the great animals beings—the lion, elephant, polar bear, the tiger—we will help change people’s minds and hearts and save Nature." These two books follow Lost Africa, a photography collection that earned Second Place Winner London Times International Photography Awards, the Lincoln Center.
This change is urgently needed. In their words, "The irreplaceable lion has lost 90% of its population over the last 20 years and the elephant and tiger are also under siege from humans. The Maasai have been killing lions by the dozens, recently exacerbating already a tenuous situation in the Maasai Mara, the Kenyan Serengeti.
The lion research, documentation and indigenous oral traditions will be used in the context of the lion's place in the tribal myth and cultural context of the Maasai. Other peoples will also be interviewed such as the Bushman, the oldest genetic group on earth, in Southern Africa who have a very intimate relationship to this most critical predator in the ecological niche of the savannah.
"We are looking at the Polar Bear and the Indian Tiger-making a unique triptych for an ecological portrait, a poetic and photographic manifesto of the three largest and irreplaceable predators on earth, beings who have been hugely symbolic and mythically critical in the evolution of our own species. Their future is ours. They are more allies than competitors. They are the necessary other, interlocutors of our completeness, the very incarnation of the life force that charges existence.
"The lion and tiger and polar bear still cognize us, still reign as embodiments of power's pure essentiality on this earth. They are metaphoric and carnal constructs without whom we would have no ballast. They are legendary phantoms that abide in the imagination, as dreams and nightmares, a foil to the imago of our superiority. They have been honored by shamans in the Arctic, by laibons in East Africa, and in HIndu cosmology for millennia. In Predatory Light will be a black and white call to arms to salvage what we have left of these necessary monsters while we still have time.” Click here to read an interview with Cyril and Marie where they further discuss their upcoming book.
Elephants on the Edge
Artist Sam Matamua created a luminous portrayal of the plight of elephants entitled, "Elephants on the Edge. " Co-incidentally, this is also the title of Executive Director Gay Bradshaw's recent book on elephants.
Sam has graciously allowed us to feature his work here. He writes, "I think the cliff face in this picture represents the ends of the earth, in the literal sense—as in sailors of old sailing to the ends of the earth. The elephants come to this place because they are being driven out of their normal habitat. There simply is no where else they can go, but to the ends of the earth. So, here they stand on a precipice. The subtle (or maybe not so subtle) suggestion here being that the entire species stands on the brink of something catastrophic happening, with the time to act being now."