Danielle Khan Da Silva. Big Male.

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A big male orangutan stands on the forest floor in Sumatra’s Gunung Leuser National Park. We had been meditating as a group, each person leaning their back against a tree, in conversation with Mother Nature when this big male came swinging down from the branches to take a closer look at us. We spent several minutes in his presence before he retreated back into the forest.

Danielle Khan Da Silva (she/they) is a South Asian-European woman residing in northern Ontario, Canada as a guest on traditional Anishinaabe, Chippewa and Mississaugas territory, where she lives life in the forest. Dani is an award-winning documentary photographer, director, decolonial/ethics /environmental visual communication educator, nonprofit leader, speaker who has done two TEDx talks, and National Geographic Explorer. She is known for her work on Indigenizing and decolonizing conservation, rematriation, and validating Indigenous Knowledge in science spaces.

She is also notably the Founder and Executive Director of Photographers Without Borders®, a non-profit organization that supports grassroots initiatives protecting the planet with visual campaigns. She is also a Co-Founder of other organizations, including the Sumatran Wildlife Sanctuary, an initiative to protect land for critically-endangered Sumatran tiger, orangutan and local communities in Sumatra. Most recently she has created an annual mentorship program called Reclaim Power, which supports visionaries who wish to reimagine the way they operate in the world.

Follow Dani on Instagram @danikhandasilva.

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