01 February 2017 Remembrance for Lost Species and Nothing is Nothing (To Love and Be Loved as Wild as The Sea)

Drawing into the depths of winter, November 24th to be exact, I wrote a wee blog about a little ‘artivity’ (yes, I made it up: activity involving art) Remembrance for Lost Species due to take place Sunday, 27th.

This was, like many other actions and activities held during November, in support of and similar in name to Remembrance Day for Lost Species, 30th November. Where anyone, everyone, is encouraged to hold events throughout the month of November culminating on the 30th. It can be any kind of memorial to lost species or places. an action or activity like an art project, a procession, lighting a candle, planting a tree, and so on which gets posted on the https://www.lostspeciesday.org/ page, and as they say:

Remembrance Day for Lost Species is driven by a growing coalition of artists, educators, museum curators, scientists and writers. It is also supported by the MEMO project and Extinction Symbol. In 2014, WWF-UK reported in its Living Planet report that Earth has lost half its wildlife in the last 40 years. However, worse is to come as climate change and habitat loss are leading us into the Sixth Mass Extinction.Now is the time to create new rituals for remembering and mourning  those we have lost, and for celebrating and making commitments to those remaining.”

So on that note me and cohort Daniela Othieno did stuff,  totally last minute. Holding our own Remembrance for Lost Species down by the Dinosaurs in Crystal Palace Park. Inviting anyone who wanted to join, we shared images and info about the Golden Toad, Bordered Gothic Moth, Pyrenean Ibex, Spix’s Macaw and the Tecopa Pupfish (from a previous installation by Daniela and husband Vincent Oyenga: Lost/Missing) and the extinction of these lovely wee creatures.

We chatted with various passerby peeps and their kids about ‘extinction’ asking their thoughts. It’s a curious way of engaging with people who are sometimes wary at first, and then mostly fascinated, who can be thoughtful and have much to say when given the opportunity but who can also be in denial, like the comedy moment when someone (seriously) says: “it’s not really my thing”.

Candles were lit, missing posters hung and there was a reading of a list of extinct and missing creatures (I’ll have to dig that out).  I sang, while dogs barked and frolicked, jet engines crossed the sky, people laughed and life happened, about not valuing beautiful and precious things, and the possibility of losing them.

[Below is the rough and ready unplugged, acoustic, version of me with stinky head cold/throat virus thing (that a few whiskey macs later soothed) and Tasmanian Tiger stripes – in honour of the 80th anniversary of the disappearance of the Thylacine – performing Nothing is Nothing (Wild As the Sea)].

Special thanks to: Sarah Murphy, Bridget MacKenzie and Joe Duggan

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