2016 | USA | Animation,Documentary,Experimental,Short

The Jollies: A Biographical Artwork about Primatologist Alison Jolly

  • English 12 mins
  • Director | Rachel Mayeri
  • Writer | Rachel Mayeri
  • Producer | Rachel Mayeri

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"The Jollies" is a biographical artwork about primatologist Alison Jolly (1937-2014), who was known for her pioneering theory on the evolution of social intelligence developed through her study of ring-tailed lemurs. Jolly's scientific and conservation work drew worldwide attention to the unique ecosystem of Madagascar. In this 12 minute video, the artist presents interviews with Jolly's network of colleagues, friends, and family. Many voices articulate the significance of her scientific discoveries as well as her career: group living over tool making as a driver for evolution, her description of a female dominant primate society, the role of play in learning, as well as her place in the first generation of women in the field of primatology and her development of community-based conservation. Monkeys, lemurs, and other nonhuman characters animate the conversation, producing reflection about humans as part of the primate order, social network, and ecosystem. Speakers include: Sarah Blaffer Hrdy (langhur), Pat Wright (ring-tailed lemur), Margaretta Jolly (baby ring-tailed lemur with mother), Hanta Rasamimanana (mouse lemur), Alison Richard (sifaka), and Donna Haraway (Australian Shepherd). "The Jollies" is exhibited as a four channel video installation.

primate primatology lemur social intelligence conservation women scientists scientist Alison Jolly Leakey ape gender behavior history
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Rachel Mayeri