Part II: Using cinema, theatre and a virtual toolbox to address the conflict between humans and elephants
The value of art in Science is undisputed. From DaVinci’s drawings came a plethora of inventions, most notable is arguably his “aerial screw” which is highly suggestive of the helicopter we know today (Da Vinci, 1894), and the night skies of Charles Mezzier who, through his drawings documented countless formerly undocumented celestial bodies (Messier, 1781). In these and many other cases great art has undoubtedly gone on to aid science. Within the field of conservation the benefits of art are more nuanced. Recently art in its modern forms has been proven to be impactful in terms of attitudes to nature with multiple nature documentaries being empirically proven to have a range of impacts (Silk et al., 2021, Jones et al., 2019), from knowledge gains not translating into reduction in plastic usage following the viewing of Blue Planet II (Dunn et al., 2020) to Blackfish causing a decrease in the market value of Seaworld (Boissat et al., 2021). Animal imagery including photos and drawings as well as movies have also been shown to generally improve attitudes to nature (Thomas-Walters et al., 2020). But does art really have a place in modern day conservation where more species than ever before are on the brink of extinction due to human activities (Barnosky et al., 2011)?
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Copyright (c) 2022 Harry Williams, Kennedy Leneuyia, Brian Mwalavo, Gladys Serem, Virginia Sempeyo, Benson Nyakundi, Lydia Tiller, Frank Pope, Lucy King
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