Our Wild World
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July 13, 2015: “Twisted Balance Sheet,” with Cyril Christo and Marie Wilkinson
In the brief time scale since humans have occupied Earth we’ve managed to from interrupt climate and tip the scales of species loss and extinctions. It is this ‘model’ of Western civilization, led by the technological society, and its rain forest felling, atmospheric carbonization, and oceanic acidifying temper, that has upturned the planet’s normal metabolism. It is said we have until 2020 to turn things around. The Paris conference on climate change next year must be the definitive statement on changing course.
Cyril Christo states, “Humans may have followed elephants along ancient migration paths out of Africa. Like us, elephants recognize who they are…they have influenced us biologically, culturally, and mythically for hundreds of thousands of years. When we stare into their eyes, we stare into the eyes of origin. Without the elephants, we lose our ballast. We have this decade to stop the slaughter of the innocents. Their future is our fate.”
The two have documented their passion for the elephant most recently in a book entitled, Walking Thunder: In The Footsteps Of The African Elephant, which placed in the top two for Nature Photography Book at the 2010 International Photography Awards and is the first all black and white manifesto dedicated to the elephant.
The husband and wife team have exposed the degradation of the natural world since 1996, first with the book, Lost Africa (2004), on the tribes of East Africa, about the decimation of the African elephant. Their work brought the slaughter of Africa’s elephants to the attention of the editors at Vanity Fair. In August 2011, the magazine published the searing investigative feature, Agony and Ivory, by writer Alex Shoumatoff about the tens of thousands of elephants massacred because of the demand for ivory amongst China’s newly rich.