Pacifica Graduate Institute Hosts Mbuti: Children of the Forest, an Exhibition of Photographs Exploring the Culture of Pygmy Hunter-Gatherers of the Congo Rainforest

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Now on display at Pacifica Graduate Institute through September 15, 2014, Mbuti: Children of the Forest, a free photographic exhibition sponsored by the Tribal Trust Foundation.

Mbuti: Children of the Forest

Pacifica Graduate Institute, a distinguished higher education university founded on the principals of depth psychology and located in Montecito, CA is proud to present Mbuti: Children of the Forest, an exhibition of photographs, artifacts, and a short film exploring the culture of pygmy hunter-gatherers of the Congo Rainforest.

The free photographic exhibition, sponsored by the Tribal Trust Foundation, is on display at Pacifica Graduate Institute, 801 Ladera Lane, through September 15, 2014. The exhibit hours are 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily. A free opening event will take place on Sunday July 20, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. also on Pacifica's Ladera Lane campus.

Over thousands of years, the Mbuti Pygmies have lived sustainably as hunter-gatherers in the world’s second largest rainforest, in what is presently the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Through their ability to change and adapt within their forest habitat, they have survived the Congo’s devastating history of war, disease, and resource exploitation. But now, as globalization and the demands of contemporary economics, politics, and technology are causing irreversible deforestation, the Mbuti’s existence is seriously threatened. They cannot survive without the Forest, which is the source of their food, shelter, identity, and connection to spirit.

Five years ago, the Mbuti asked The Tribal Trust Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to cultural preservation projects around the world, to organize an exhibition that would foster international awareness and appreciation of the threatened Congo Rainforest and the indigenous culture of the Mbuti. The award winning exhibition video, Mbuti: Children of the Forest, is their message and plea to the world in their own voices. Photographs and documentary footage taken at the Okapi Wildlife reserve by Molly Feltner in September 2010 form the centerpiece of the exhibition. These powerful images, along with traditional artifacts used by the Mbuti in their daily lives and the work of internationally known photographer and filmmaker Eliot Elisofon (1911-1973), offer a window into the Mbuti’s symbiotic relationship with the rainforest. The Mbuti’s unique cultural memory of living in harmony with nature, offers a model for living sustainably.

For more information about the exhibit, click here:

Opening Talk and Reception
Sunday, July 20, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The talk will be held from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. followed by a reception.
Art Cisneros, Chumash Elder and Tribal Trust Ambassador, will open the exhibition with a traditional ceremony and calling in of the Ancestors. Barbara Savage, President of the Tribal Trust, will speak about her experience with the Mbuti. Dawn Murray, Vice President of the Tribal Trust, will discuss local and global advocacy and ways to support indigenous cultures. The event will be held at Pacifica Graduate Institute’s Ladera Lane Campus, 801 Ladera Lane, Santa Barbara, California 93108. Please RSVP to 805.969.3626, ext. 103 or publicprograms(at)pacifica(dot)edu.

About Pacifica Graduate Institute
Pacifica, with two campuses in Santa Barbara, California, is an accredited graduate school offering masters and doctoral degree programs framed in the traditions in depth psychology.
The Institute has established an educational environment that nourishes respect for cultural diversity and individual differences, and an academic community that fosters a spirit of free and open inquiry. Students have access to an impressive array of resources including the OPUS Archives and Research Center which is home to the Joseph Campbell Library and Archives.

The mission of Pacifica Graduate Institute is to foster creative learning and research in the fields of psychology, the humanities, and mythological studies, framed in the traditions of depth psychology. Consistent with and supporting this vision, Pacifica Graduate Institute is employee-owned, and practices shared stewardship.

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Erik Davis
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