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Great Ape Exhibition in Lyon

  • A year ago Jérôme Louiche, then graphic designer at the Jean Macé library offered us the opportunity to participate in an event at the library with the goal of teaching, raising awareness and interacting with Lyon residents about the great apes. 

Jérôme, today Young Adult LIbrarian at the Part-Dieu Library : « I met Amandine before P-WAC at a public event. The energy she expresses made me want to support P-WAC. I am a volunteer first, as well as a member, but I’m always passionate about animal causes.  I am also a volunteer for the Association to protect the Turtles of Rhône-Alpes. I donate what I’m good at: infographics, time when I can and I especially try to promote P-WAC and its projects when I can … and that was the case in proposing an exposition at Jean Macé. I’m very proud to talk about P-WAC in a cultural capacity because it’s the first time an « animal » association has had an exhibit in the City of Lyon Library system. Bravo to the P-WAC team because the result was worth it… I hope to continue to work in the background to speak and organize for P-WAC… « 

It is in this context that an exposition on the preservation of the great apes called « Help for the Great Apes: P-WAC an example in Rhône Alpes » was installed at Jean Macé Library, from November 12 – 29, with  Nathalie Albéro, librarian, and Lila Peirera.

The exposition, which is open until November 29, was well received. « We have beautiful prints of great apes (from the artist Laurence SAUNOIS who we’ll tell you more about about in the near future), which interested our participants, especially the young. Photographs of great apes, insects, African landscapes, accompanied by well-made informative posters (thank you to Jérémie Mathieu for that accomplishment!) to give visitors more information on the great apes in general and on the threats that imperil their future, » declares Nathalie Albéro.

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Expo during installation…

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… With the help of members of the Jean Macé library staff

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A part of the exhibit with the work of Laurence Saunois (drawings), Stéphanie Meng Zirilli (great ape photos), Amandine Renaud (insect photos) and Jérémie Mathieu (educationa posters)

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The first visitors, a dad and his kids…

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… with a little 4 year old already crazy about animals!

The exhibition included a conference and a display gallery. We were pleased to present our progress during the conference. Our goal continues to be to install our great apes rescue center in the DRC.

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La salle de conférence prête à accueillir le public

For this conference, we welcomed our new volunteer, Mégane, 19. « I’m a new volunteer with P-WAC.  Actually, I discovered P-WAC at Amandine Renaud’s presentation at the Lumiere University of Lyon 2. I’m a second year anthropology student and passionate about the great apes. Since I began college, I’ve been trying to study and get a degree in the primate field, but having found nothing I thought I’d do a stint as an eco-volunteer on on the ground to get further involved in the cause. In the end, my meeting with Amandine reinforced my desire to do what I can for the great apes. So I became a volunteer and I’ll get the chance in the future to keep you up to date on social media, but also help with manning exhibit booths and perhaps later make conference presentations for P-WAC.  And soon, I hope to go on site and work actively to help the great apes. The increasing disappearance of the great apes motivates me to action. So I want to do my best to help P-WAC because this project meets my goal of preserving the great apes ». We were thrilled to welcome Mégane, because we’re still a small team. So, if you want to help with our events, you will be welcomed !

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Mégane

« I was able to help P-WAC for the first time at the conference at the Jean Macé library. I hope that in the future more people will attend. On arriving at the conference, we were met by the sounds of chimpanzees and bonobos that Amandine had recorded during her prior stays in Africa. Then, we had the great apes presentation and learned the factors that threaten their survival and are leading to their increasing disappearance (poaching and deforestation). P-WAC shared its objectives. The public, intrigued, asked questions that Amandine answered with enthusiasm. From my end, the biggest takeaway I got from the presentation was the subject of poaching. Despite being illegal, failure to enforce the laws surprised me, as it did the public who asked questions on the subject. The conference ended with vocalizations, then the conversation between P-WAC members and the public continued around the teapot. »

«  A lot of people, but not enough. It’s too bad because the presentation was very interesting. It quickly made clear that the problem of preserving the great apes is much bigger than just the ecology. It’s also political and economic, a consequence of globalization, with multinational firms arriving in Africa and destroying everything in their path. One can only admire the will, the tenacity and the strength of the members of P-WAC in the face of these difficult circumstances! » (Nathalie)

After the conference, we enjoyed appetizers which allowed us to continue to talk informally,  a chance to really understand that there’s a lot of work to do! A warm atmosphere with interested, engaged people, stories of the forest… all accompanied by the ape vocalizations allowed our public to travel to the country of « the hairy ones »…

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Thank you to Jean Macé Library and it’s staff (Jérôme Louiche, Nathalie Albéro,  Lila Peirera) for welcoming us!!

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About the author
Amandine Renaud
http://www.p-wac.org