Bridget Wijnberg - On 1 June the latest of our outdoor exhibition series was inaugurated in Copenhagen by the Danish Minister for Environment, Karen Ellemann, together with WWF Denmark. This was our third exhibition in the panEuropean tour and the first with Rewilding Europe and Deutsche Umwelthilfe as main partners.
The launch was a fun celebration, “The Bottle Boys” entertaining us with renditions of pop music hits played on instruments made out of old bottles! Definitely not passé. Kudos guys! And a nice scoop for one of the main exhibition sponsors – Danish recycling company Dansk Retursystem. I was dragged away from the music for a private guided tour through the exhibition for the Minister and invited Ambassadors by Wild Wonders of Europe Managing Director, Staffan Widstrand. Staffan is lucky in having an encyclopaedic knowledge of European nature and the reactions on people’s faces is priceless when they hear some weird and wonderful fact from tongue waggling ibex to Europe’s only antelope - the endangered and bizarrely trumpet nosed saiga. Judging by the bevy of hangers on (perhaps aspiring to be Ambassadors) – European wildlife safari guides are the way to go.
That evening we had a post-launch celebratory dinner with the Wild Wonders of Europe and Life Exhibitions team in the glass pavilion. The exhibition outside began to fill with rave party goers - tens, hundreds and then finally thousands of them, as central Copenhagen filled with one massive thronging street party! Unbenownst to the organisers, the launch had coincided with the party of all parties. In one fell swoop we had reached a whole new audience - scores of young people who perhaps wouldn’t normally have considered themselves as being even vaguely interested in nature, or thought nature was too unhip for their image. It was heartwarming to watch the revellers, even in their varying degrees of inebriation, taking time to read the text and to enjoy the images! Quite a contrast to the daytime audience of young children, babies in prams, people in wheelchairs and on bicycles, young and old alike. Nature really is for all!
If you’d like to see the exhibition - entrance is free and accessible to all, open 24 hours a day. It is situated right in the very heart of the city, off the famous pedestrian shopping street, Stroget, and will remain on display at Nytorv until 29 July 2011.
The key message of Wild Wonders of Europe is to inspire us all with the joy of the wild and encourage a greater sense of custodianship. The exhibition focuses on celebrating Europe’s wildlife comeback with short texts that are wonderfully engaging, refreshing and educational. (Its not just about pretty pictures!!) This is the important door opener to highlight species and habitats of conservation concern, the ongoing land abandonement in Europe and the tremendous possibilities for rewilding.
Please note that blogs reflect our photographers' opinions and not necessarily those of the directors of Wild Wonders of Europe.