I am the sum of all the landscapes I have explored, all the living memories of animals that sail inside of me and the people that I love.—Gregory Colbert

I am the sum of all the landscapes I have explored, all the living memories of animals that sail inside of me and the people that I love.

—Gregory Colbert

People sometimes ask if I am fearful when I am in such close proximity to animals. I can only say that the only way that I’ve been ripped open is by having to leave behind elephant friends, orangutans, cheetahs, caracals, manta rays, or whales. But I would do every hello and goodbye over again as long as it meant that I would have a chance to share their stories. Animals help me to remember all the dreams I thought I had forgotten and remind us to dream as though we will live forever while living as though we shall die today.

—Gregory Colbert

I have just left the dunes of Namibia. I have now been on over a hundred expeditions. I have been saying hello and goodbye to animals the past twenty years and I often look back with laughter and sadness when I leave my animal friends. Perhaps in some way with every animal collaboration I felt changed as soon as I said hello. I don’t feel as if I am telling them a story, but rather that they are helping me to find a story and in doing so my own story is constantly being rewri
tten. By trying to build a bridge to another animal’s dreams, I am also trying to connect them with our own. Nevertheless, even after years in the desert, savannah, jungle, or at sea, it still always feels like I am taking an ax to my heart when I finally have to leave. It’s supposed to be a delicious animal goodbye but it’s always difficult to find the good in goodbye. —Gregory Colbert

I have just left the dunes of Namibia. I have now been on over a hundred expeditions. I have been saying hello and goodbye to animals the past twenty years and I often look back with laughter and sadness when I leave my animal friends. Perhaps in some way with every animal collaboration I felt changed as soon as I said hello. I don’t feel as if I am telling them a story, but rather that they are helping me to find a story and in doing so my own story is constantly being rewri

tten. By trying to build a bridge to another animal’s dreams, I am also trying to connect them with our own. Nevertheless, even after years in the desert, savannah, jungle, or at sea, it still always feels like I am taking an ax to my heart when I finally have to leave. It’s supposed to be a delicious animal goodbye but it’s always difficult to find the good in goodbye. 

—Gregory Colbert

I have just returned to the Namibian desert. What if through interspecies collaboration we could explore our shared imagination? We are accustomed to seeing stories through the eyes of human beings. That is why, in many of these images, the human eyes continue to be closed and the animals’ eyes are open. It is the animals that gaze out at the world and tell us their stories.

—Gregory Colbert


As you are reading this, I will be on a boat in the Arctic headed away from the elephants and towards the polar bears. This summer, ninety-seven percent of the ice sheet in Greenland suddenly melted. Climate change affects not only polar bears, and it is not only their end of the boat that is leaking. For the sake of loyalty not only to our species, but to all species, we must decide to change our course. We must not forget that animals are as much our guardians as we are theirs.—Gregory Colbert

I presume many of you may be experiencing some extreme weather wherever you are on the planet. If animals are living books, we are burning down their stories. We cannot help but notice the climactic effects of our actions—droughts, floods, high temperatures, and the rain of ashes as our forests burn.

Please share your thoughts.

—Gregory Colbert