A young woman follows her fiancé to war-torn Congo to study extremely endangered bonobo apes-who teach her a new truth about love and belonging. In 2005, Vanessa Woods accepted a marriage proposal from a man she barely knew and agreed to join him on a research trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country reeling from a brutal decade-long war that had claimed the lives of millions. Settling in at a bonobo sanctuary in Congo's capital, Vanessa and her fiancé entered the world of a rare ape with whom we share 98.7 percent of our DNA. She soon discovered that many of the inhabitants of the sanctuary-ape and human alike-are refugees from unspeakable violence, yet bonobos live in a peaceful society in which females are in charge, war is nonexistent, and sex is as common and friendly as a handshake. A fascinating memoir of hope and adventure, Bonobo Handshake traces Vanessa's self-discovery as she finds herself falling deeply in love with her husband, the apes, and her new surroundings while probing life's greatest question: What ultimately makes us human? Courageous and extraordinary, this true story of revelation and transformation in a fragile corner of Africa is about looking past the differences between animals and ourselves, and finding in them the same extraordinary courage and will to survive. For Vanessa, it is about finding her own path as a writer and scientist, falling in love, and finding a home. Watch a Video
In the resistance to the violence of gender-based oppression, vibrant – but often ignored – worlds have emerged, full of nuance, humour, and beauty. Correcting an absence of writing about contemporary feminist work by Canadian artists, Desire Change considers the resurgence of feminist art, thought, and practice in the past decade by examining artworks that respond to themes of diversity and desire. Essays by historians, artists, and curators present an overview of a range of artistic practices including performance, installation, video, textiles, and photography. Contributors address the desire for change through three central frames: how feminist art has significantly contributed to the complex understanding of gender as it intersects with sexuality and race; the necessary critique of patriarchy and institutions as they relate to colonization within the Canadian nation-state; and the ways in which contemporary critiques are formed and expressed. The resulting collection addresses art through an activist lens to examine intersectional feminism, decolonization, and feminist institution building in a Canadian context. Heavily illustrated with representative works, Desire Change raises both the stakes and the concerns of contemporary feminist art, with an understanding that feminism is always and necessarily plural. Contributors include Janice Anderson (Concordia University), Gina Badger (artist, writer, editor, Toronto), Noni Brynjolson (writer, San Diego), Amber Christensen (curator and writer, Toronto), Karin Cope (NSCAD), Lauren Fournier (artist, writer, and curator, York University), Amy Fung (curator and writer, Toronto), Kristina Huneault (Concordia University), Alice Ming Wai Jim (Concordia University), Tanya Lukin Linklater (artist, North Bay), Sheila Petty (University of Regina), Kathleen Ritter (curator and writer, Vancouver), Daniella Sanader (curator and writer, Toronto), Thérèse St. Gelais (UQAM), cheyanne turions (curator and writer, Toronto), Ellyn Walker (Queen’s University), Jayne Wark (NSCAD) and Jenny Western (curator and writer, Winnipeg).
Bonobos have captured the public imagination in recent years, due not least to their famously active sex lives. Less well known is the fact that these great apes don’t kill their own kind, and that they share nearly 99% of our DNA. Their approach to building peaceful coalitions and sharing resources has much to teach us, particularly at a time when our violent ways have pushed them to the brink of extinction. Animated by a desire to understand bonobos and learn how to save them, acclaimed author Deni Ellis Béchard traveled into the Congo. Of Bonobos and Men is the account of this journey. Along the way, we see how partnerships between Congolese and Westerners, with few resources but a common purpose and respect for indigenous knowledge, have resulted in the protection of vast swaths of the rainforest. And we discover how small solutions—found through openness, humility, and the principle that “poverty does not equal ignorance”—are often most effective in tackling our biggest challenges. Combining elements of travelogue, journalism, and natural history, this incomparably rich book takes the reader not only deep into the Congo, but also into our past and future, revealing new ways to save the environment and ourselves.
‘Primates’ is the first volume of the ‘Mystery Revealed: Female Sexuality Redefined for the 21st Century’ series. It serves as the closest existing example of natural primate sexual anatomy and behavior, along with primate culture, social organization and intellectual levels, helping us learn about our own evolution by revealing natural facts originally taught to be perceived as unnatural, specifically in regard to female sexuality. Format: eBook Length: 41 pages (6,008 words) Publishing Date: March 2009
Tribal is a word with various meanings but what is not generally acknowledged is that tribal is a genetic survival trait, held over from our ancient ancestors. Ron Newby’s latest book is controversial with original thought-provoking ideas and is, at times, witty and amusing. This popular interdisciplinary book examines chimpanzees, bonobos, even plants and the neurosciences for explanations as to why we play havoc not only with ourselves but with the biosphere. Newby argues it is not only our nurturing that influences behavior, but also our vibrant ancient survival genetic traits that influence present day human behavior. The consequences of our tribal nature—global warming, population explosion and political discord, are the generators of the Anthropocene. Anger, greed, compassion, fear, false memory, bigotry, governance, rationality and free will are a few of topics discussed. This is a philosophical approach to understanding as to why humans are self-inflicting their demise.
FREEDOM has its own very informative website: visit www.humancondition.com The fastest growing realization everywhere is that humanity can't go on the way it is going. Indeed, the great fear is we're entering endgame where we appear to have lost the race between self-destruction and self-discovery―the race to find the psychologically relieving understanding of our 'good and evil'-afflicted human condition. Well, astonishing as it is, this book by biologist Jeremy Griffith presents the 11th hour breakthrough biological explanation of the human condition necessary for the psychological rehabilitation and transformation of our species! The culmination of 40 years of studying and writing about our species' psychosis, FREEDOM delivers nothing less than the holy grail of insight we have needed to free ourselves from the human condition. It is, in short, as Professor Harry Prosen, a former president of the Canadian Psychiatric Association, asserts in his Introduction, 'The book that saves the world'. Griffith has been able to venture right to the bottom of the dark depths of what it is to be human and return with the fully accountable, true explanation of our seemingly imperfect lives. At long last we have the redeeming and thus transforming understanding of human behaviour! And with that explanation found all the other great outstanding scientific mysteries about our existence are now also able to be truthfully explained―of the meaning of our existence, of the origin of our unconditionally selfless moral instincts, and of why we humans became conscious when other animals haven't. Yes, the full story of life on Earth can finally be told―and all of these incredible breakthroughs and insights are presented here in this 'greatest of all books'.
What makes humans different from other animals, what humans are entitled to do to other species, whether time travel is possible, what limits should be placed on science and technology, the morality and practicality of genetic engineering—these are just some of the philosophical problems raised by Planet of the Apes. Planet of the Apes and Philosophy looks at all the deeper issues involved in the Planet of the Apes stories. It covers the entire franchise, from Pierre Boulle’s 1963 novel Monkey Planet to the successful 2012 reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The chapters reflect diverse points of view, philosophical, religious, and scientific. The ethical relations of humans with animals are explored in several chapters, with entertaining and incisive observations on animal intelligence, animal rights, and human-animal interaction. Genetic engineering is changing humans, animals, and plants, raising new questions about the morality of such interventions. The scientific recognition that humans and chimps share 99 percent of their genes makes a future in which non-human animals acquire greater importance a distinct possibility. Planet of the Apes is the most resonant of all scientific apocalypse myths.
Nat's professor seduces him and announces that she's a bonobo. Over the next two years, Nat explores whether to become one, too. At every turn, he must choose between the siren song of social expectation or the perpetual pursuit of a panoply of loves.
For readers of Inside of a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz, this New York Times bestseller offers mesmerizing insights into the interior lives of our smartest pets In the past decade, we have learned more about how dogs think than in the last century. Breakthroughs in cognitive science, pioneered by Brian Hare, have proven dogs have a kind of genius for getting along with people that is unique in the animal kingdom. This dog genius revolution is transforming how we live and work with our canine friends, including how we train them. Does your dog feel guilt? Is she pretending she can't hear you? Does she want affection—or just your sandwich? In The Genius of Dogs, Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods lay out what discoveries at the Duke Canine Cognition Lab and other research facilities around the world are revealing about how your dog thinks and how we humans can have even deeper relationships with our best four-legged friends.
Grab a ticket for the adventure of an American woman who protected rare apes by painting AIDS ("SIDA" in French) in blood on a wall to keep rampaging looters at bay. A San Diego Zoo article about her work was titled Courage, but it took more than courage to find a permanent home for the bonobos.