Fringe Dwellers

Bonobos are an endangered species that can only be found in The Democratic Republic of Congo. The rainforests where they live are being cleared at a very fast rate to make way for large areas of farmland, logging and other developments. Bonobos are also at risk from hunters who are killing them for their meat in the Bush Meat trade. Unfortunately as the rainforest disappears, this is leaving the bonobo with few areas to hide. They may become essentially homeless in the very near future. It is entirely possible that zoos may become their permanent homes if they are to survive at all.

Fringe Dwellers is an ongoing series of photographs of primates in human spaces. This series imagines what it might be like if bonobos were to immigrate into our own communities. It seemed to me that like any immigrant group, integrating into a new culture is difficult, in a primate’s case almost impossible. It is doubtful they’d fit into a work force and they would not make good pets as they are too intelligent for easy domestication. I am assuming we would make camps for them or they would exist somewhere on the fringes. The mirroring of our selves that we see in these images inevitably reflects our own culture and values, the specific cultural contexts that give meaning to the Bonobo is unclear to us.