October 25, 2021
Chatting the Pictures

Chatting the Pictures: Famed Congo Gorilla Dies in Her Caretaker’s Arms

Welcome to Chatting the Pictures. Every two weeks, we present a short, lively video discussion between Michael Shaw, publisher of Reading the Pictures, and writer, professor, and historian, Cara Finnegan, examining a significant picture in the news. Chatting the Pictures is produced by Liliana Michelena.

By Staff
About the Video
Brent Stirton’s photo, taken for Getty Images, has stolen people’s hearts around the world. But there is a lot to the photo—especially culturally and politically—that one wouldn’t naturally assume. Ever since Ndakasi, a two-year-old mountain gorilla was orphaned in 2007,  she has been raised by humans—particularly Andre Bauma, her caretaker, in the Congo’s Virunga National Park. In this photo, we see Ndakasi take her final breath in Bauma’s loving arms. In the video, we discuss how the image captures the close genetic link between gorillas and man. We also reflect on the intimate treatment of death in the era of Covid and the deep connections of both figures to the important Congo park.

You can find all the Chatting the Pictures replays here

Post By

See other posts by Staff here.

The Big Picture

Follow us on Instagram (@readingthepictures) and Twitter (@readingthepix), and


Michael Shaw

An analyst of news photos and visual journalism, and a frequent lecturer and writer on visual politics, photojournalism and media literacy, Michael is the founder and publisher of Reading the Pictures.

Cara Finnegan

Cara Finnegan is a writer, photo historian, and professor of Communication at the University of Illinois. She has been affiliated with Reading The Pictures for nearly 15 years, most recently as co-host of Chatting The Pictures. Her most recent book is Photographic Presidents: Making History from Daguerreotype to Digital.


Comments Powered by Disqus