Arts & Entertainment

Salvando Primates: multimedia experience connecting Colombia with its fauna

Bogota, May 4 (EFE).- The Bogota Planetarium has transformed itself into a machine that enables people to travel to Colombia’s unexplored forests via an immersive multimedia experience created by biologist and documentary maker Federico Pardo and supported by the National Geographic Society, all with an eye toward helping people become better acquainted with the life of primates.

“Salvando Primates” (Saving Primates) is an immersive experience that seeks “to connect Colombians with our biodiversity, particularly with the primates of Colombia, and to support the restoration of the forests of the species that are most in danger of extinction,” Pardo, the director of the project launched on Wednesday and which he calls “the jungle in the city,” told EFE.

The winner of a National Geographic Society scholarship and financing for the project said that the idea for the immersive experience came to him after filming nature and conservation documentaries for more than 10 years.

He said that “we need to do something more … so that we don’t just keep creating awareness and providing education, but rather (we must) channel tangible conservation efforts,” adding that for each person who buys a ticket to “Salvando Primates” a tree will be planted in the primates’ forests.

According to experts, there are 42 primate species in Colombia, 10 of them endemic and four that are in critical danger of extinction: the cotton top tamarin, the common woolly monkey, the Caqueta tamarin and the brown spider monkey.

“The aim is for Colombians to embrace their diversity, for us to learn more about the common woolly monkey, the spider monkey, the cotton top tamarin and not so much about the tiger, the elephant and the gorilla, because if we embrace our diversity we can appreciate it and we can take action to preserve it,” Pardo said.

The immersive experience is “an exposition based on 360-degree videos that run from floor to ceiling and wall to wall, with surround-sound, where viewers will feel themselves to be in a tropical forest and will be able to appreciate the daily activities of the four threatened primate species in their habitat.”

Getting the project under way “was the work of Federico Pardo, (with a team) including two other biologists, one of them doing audiovisual work and the other, a nature cameraman; an ecologist and professional climber, two photographers for the “behind the camera” work; two conservation leaders and support guides … along with a huge amount of cutting edge film and photography equipment,” the communique announcing the event said.

The team spent 50 days in the jungle documenting the movements of the primates from the time they awakened until they settled down for the night. The team spent lots of time on platforms 30 meters above the forest floor that they built themselves to be able to do the filming.

“Salvando Primates” will be open to the public at the Bogota Planetarium until July 16, 2023.

EFE –/bp

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