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Since the late 1990s, Sabrina Krief has spent roughly six months every year living with ape communities, mostly chimpanzees. Part of her research focuses on self-medication and the use of medical plants among chimpanzees, the other on changes in their behaviour due to anthropogenic influences. Many of the problems the apes as well as the humans living near apes are facing have to do with the fact that they can be dangerous to one another, especially in terms of diseases that can spread between the species. Therefore, the research into the plants and food the chimpanzees use for self-medication could become extremely valuable for humans too. For now, the commonly shared realization is that humans and apes should keep a respectful distance from each other. Therefore, today, her work as a researcher mainly consists in observing the relationships between the animals rather than building relationships with them. As a primatologist, she has started to practice and adapt ethnographical methods. And one of the lessons chimpanzees as social beings can teach us, she says, is tolerance.

expert

  • Sabrina Krief

date

21/11/2015

location

Musée de l’Homme, Paris

was trained as a veterinarian and is also a lecturer at the National Museum of Natural History. For nearly 20 years, she has been studying the behavior and health of chimpanzees in Africa, stressing that their self-medication is a form of resilience endangered by human activities.

— INQUIRY: On becoming earthlings
) — PRODUCTION: Blackmarket for Useful Knowledge and Non-Knowledge No. 18
— EVENT: On becoming earthlings: dialogues and exercises in shrinking and expanding the human

was trained as a veterinarian and is also a lecturer at the National Museum of Natural History. For nearly 20 years, she has been studying the behavior and health of chimpanzees in Africa, stressing that their self-medication is a form of resilience endangered by human activities.

— INQUIRY: On becoming earthlings
) — PRODUCTION: Blackmarket for Useful Knowledge and Non-Knowledge No. 18
— EVENT: On becoming earthlings: dialogues and exercises in shrinking and expanding the human

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