Past events
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The relationship between elephant, human and ivory has a great deal to say about our general relationship with nature and the environment. What opportunities are there to re-frame our attitude towards nature, instead of thinking about it as something detached from our own existence?

A discussion forum of diverse voices will pursue these questions from popular, socio-political and scientific perspectives. The forum will consist of a series of four moderated evening events and a themed day. Using participatory formats such as fish-bowl, round table discussions or audience participation debates, it will expose both the economic and the ecological interconnections that define the relationship of the animal and its ‘cultivated’ remains – the ivory – with the human species: To what lengths will humans go to possess this ‘white gold’? And to what extent are they thinking of either their own innate interests, or above all, those of the animal? What could animal conservation look like today? Who represents the rights of the animal? How could peaceful coexistence function to achieve a global solidarity, a respect and tolerance between human and animal?

Together with the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, the animal conservation organisation IFAW and other voices from within society, the Terrible Beauty discussion programme addresses the relationship between elephant, human and ivory from a wide variety of perspectives as a model for the relationship between nature, human and the environment. International perspectives from regions where the animals live, are protected or are hunted, will of course be included.

The discussion series follows on from the exhibition tour, starting with the elephant, and continuing via the contexts of colonialism to a discussion of how exploitation is made possible by the separation of nature and culture in Western thinking.

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From the series

Programme Terrible Beauty