One Language Project – Zurich

Joy - with her toys in Zurich

Joy – with her toys in Zurich

The One Language Project European Edition is now in progress! Today’s adventures started in Zurich, Switzerland – one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited. My goal was to find a few farmers to interview over the next few days about their cows, and I was working on a few leads thankfully prepared for me by a local landscape architect who will be traveling with me to the countryside on Friday.

My first stop was the Landes museum which was conveniently hosting an exhibit called Animali – animals used to inspire the imagination throughout the ages. The exhibit focused on the mythology of animals and the way humans have woven human longings, characteristics and physiology with other animals to create the unicorn, the griffin, the dragon, the satyr and mermaids. The video installation was the most compelling, with five large screens seamlessly projecting across the entire side wall of the exhibit with German-sounding mysterious electronica underlying the slow undulations of the various animals against timelapse clouds, milky waters and tree-filled glens. All desaturated colors and focusing on the animals that had become hybrids over the past centuries – the lion, the eagle, the deer, the stag, the snake, the horse.

exhibit photo

To watch the video about the exhibit http://www.art-tv.ch/9849-0-Landesmuseum-Zuerich-Animali.html

After coming out of my near hypnosis from the video installation, I retrieved my precious bag of camera equipment at security and went back to my mission. Cows! En route, I decided to add a couple of dog portraits and their stories, since they all fall under the One Language Project, and how could I resist?

Joy’s story was told to me by her owner Ursula, who runs a beautiful boutique in the old part of Zurich. Here is what she told me:

I got her as a puppy eleven years ago from a farm. She was a mix. She is absolutely crazy about men. She goes to them as if she is in heat. Children love her and she loves them. What touches me most about her is her sensitivity. I could put glasses on the floor and she would carefully walk around them. She’s very careful with everybody, especially babies. You know, she’s a Pisces; she feels a lot. I like that she is still playful, even at eleven years old. She has her toys and they help when she rides in the car. She’s so easygoing. It won’t be easy when she goes.

Joy's Squirrel

Joy’s Squirrel

Joy, eleven years old

Joy, eleven years old

zurichdogs_(3_of_9)

zurichdogs_(5_of_9)I strolled along the cobblestone streets in the sun, admiring the beauty of the storefronts and the beauty of a walking city without cars everywhere. I love the cafe culture of people being accessible, sitting still, talking, enjoying the view, the sound of birds instead of cars.

I looked down a long street towards the sun-filled waterfront and saw a black dog lying in the middle of the street. I wandered down and started talking to the owner about her dog. This is what she told me about Santos:

Santos is 4 years old and I’ve had him since he was 8 weeks. He is the third black labrador I’ve had. He’s not castrated and isn’t in the slight bit aggressive. No troubles with anyone. He loves children, especially when they are running and playing. Every day we go in the forest for walks. We have our places.

Santoszurichdogs_(8_of_9)zurichdogs_(9_of_9)

About naturestage

Miranda Loud is the Founder and Artistic Director of the non-profit NatureStage based in Waltham, MA, and is an interdisciplinary artist - classical singer/organist/filmmaker/photographer and environmentalist. She writes about the vital need for education to include a more heart-centered approach to studying other species that leads to a sense of stewardship. Naturestage creates works that foster empathy and kinship with other species, using the emotional power of storytelling in different art forms, mainly film, photography and music. She is also a public speaker on art and social change. Her current projects include The One Language Project, Park Dreams, The Elephant Project, and Elephantasia which all use different art forms to encourage a mind shift in how we relate to other species by asking "How would the world be different if we viewed other species as someones instead of somethings? If, instead of drawing lines, we drew circles?"
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