Who are you? Moments from a primate sanctuary photo exhibition

The faces of capuchin monkeys fascinate and haunt me. When I close my eyes, I see capuchins. Faces, moles, eyes. It took many weeks to notice Lisa’s tattered ear, the white spot at Lush’s hairline, many months to see the mark on Mark’s left cheek. Would I still recognise them two years later? Why would they be forgotten faster than humans?

—Anne Heinonen

The photo exhibition showcases primates who live in a primate sanctuary in South Africa and tells a story of identity, remembering and belonging through diary texts of their photographer Anne Heinonen.

Heinonen volunteered in the sanctuary for eight months. In addition to other volunteer work her project was to capture capuchin monkeys’ faces and identify them with the help of the primate keepers. She was astonished by how easily she could recognise herself in the monkeys’ behaviour and was deeply moved when the capuchins got used to her presence. The exhibition was born from the need to share some of those moments with other humans.

Monkey land is a free-roaming primate sanctuary in South Africa. It’s part of South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance which has won multiple tourism awards.

Who are you? The exhibition has previously been shown in several cities in Finland.

A few comments from the exhibition’s guest book:

‘Gave me so much to think about. The similarity between capuchins and humans was beautifully captured.’

amazing and shows an astonishing amount of awareness.’

‘Great insight into the lives of primates.’

‘A very intimate collection of photos’

‘Lovely photos of monkeys. Our children loved the baby ones.’

‘There is such life, warmth and atmosphere in the images’

‘I love all of them’

This is a free photo exhibition.


Exhibition open: Thu-Fri  11.00am – 6.00pm, Sat-Sun  11.00am – 3.00pm
(Mon-Wed: closed)