Tuesday, 15 March 2011

gloomy ponderings on an inspiring exhibition

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Here I am at the Natural History Museum, a beautiful building (especially on the outside) with a skeletal dinosaur looming in the entrance hall. They have permanent exhibitions of practically anything you could wish for in the natural world, and like all the best British museums, entry is free (at least for now; we'll see how long it takes the new government to do away with that). But we were there to see a very particular exhibit, the yearly "Wildlife Photographer of the Year."

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So you think you're a photographer....

This photo of a bird up there was in the 14-17 years old section!
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Most of the photographers are adults however, many professionals, and all of the accepted submissions are simply stunning:

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Some are sad: a shark crying a tear of blood as its fin is cut off, a turtle caught in a drift net (the turtle, at least, was released by the photographer).
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While I appreciated that the exhibition featured the joyful, funny and purely wild of the natural world, these darker photos resonated with me, especially in retrospect. Perhaps it's the gloom of seeing the destruction in Japan, perhaps it's the depressing nature of all my Climate Change readings for an upcoming presentation, but it's been really driven home to me this year how severely we're messing things up. The earthquake, I suppose, cannot be blamed on Climate Change, but from my reading all of last week I can say we're in for many many more natural disasters, from storms, to extreme heat or cold, flooding, and so on. And we continue with our destructive ways; I myself spend more time fuming about a lukewarm latte than thinking about the ridiculous waste and pollution that has gone into producing it for me in the first place. We are overfishing the oceans, hunting endangered species like that poor shark, over-logging the Amazon, eating too much meat, driving oversized cars (which were swept away by that tsunami in a flash), flying too much, eating too much, and definitely not thinking enough!

We're going down.
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45 comments:

Terri said...

Thinking more...the last photo is simply wonderful.

Jenni Wells said...

Your blouse is fantastic in so many ways! I love how you styled it.

These photos are incredible. Thank you for the inspiration.

jenniwells.blogspot.com

Rebeccak said...

Yeah I agree... it is pretty scary stuff. It really does maker you step back and get some perspective on life.

A said...

Pictures are amazing.

Japan situation is very sad and I agree we need to become more responsible.

Brittany said...

I love the pop of color especially your red beret :) and those photos...especially the turtles are so sad.

Closet Fashionista said...

Love these photos....that first turtle one is awesome!! (the poor shark and other turtle though :()
and I totally agree...we really are destroying the world with our ways...we really need to take charge and recycle more and save all the poor animals we are pushing into extinction... *sigh*
http://www.closet-fashionista.com/

are you dressing up or dressing down said...

your style is sounique is so refreshing :).

Helen, X
http://areyoudressingupordressingdown.blogspot.com

deppa said...

En la primera foto pareces una muñeca, esos colores te quedan muy bien :)
He quedado impresionada con las fotos, están bellísimas, pondré a prueba a mi hermanito de 7, según yo él lo hace bien ;)

Nos vemos!

Lesley said...

look how cute you are in those blue tights! and that patterned shirt is so unique. love it.

i love that we both have museum posts this week! <3

Monique said...

The devastation in Japan is so heartbreaking. I can't help but think that we are in deed "going down" between wars, ongoing conflict and the natural disasters. The future does look quite grim. From my part of the world it looks like we are slipping back into a recession to boot. On a brighter side. You look lovely. I really love how honest you are about your lattes...we can all do a bit more.

sojourned in style said...

as cheerful as this outfit is in terms of bold colour (love your top), the world continues to spriral into a downfall regardless. what has happened in Japan has been a devastation that would be incredibly sad to be a repeat event.

Kallie, Happy Honey and Lark said...

Those pictures are stunning! You're looking quite adorable too :)
I'm sorry I haven't been by here in awhile, the last time we commented we were thinking of a blogger meetup if you are in NY, I love the idea. I think it would be so cool to meet and go to a museum with some lovely NY blogger girls and anyone whos in town.

From Suns To Moons said...

I live for berets and you have an adorable one.

CessOviedo said...

Love when you post about different places, my borther and I have planned our euro tour since we were little and still no luck! I'd definitely get in touch with you when we do! Lovely pictures!

<3 Cess O.
http://blog.cessoviedo.com

Chaucee said...

I really love your outfit! That skirt is gorgeous and the boots are adorable. I miss wearing my boots.

SMASH said...

I really hope this exhibit is still up in May, I'd love to take a gander. There was a similar wildlife exhibit in a museum up in LA that Grant and I checked out a few months ago...it was okay...but this looks way better. Also, I saw a yellow bird just like the one in the photo today! It was such a trip, I feel like I only ever see crows and sea birds around these parts.

Shanna Maren said...

You look really pretty!
And so does the place where you are :D

And the photos are pretty professional.

Sophie said...

I love the Natural History Museum, my favourite place alongside The Tower of London to visit. Only downside is the Tower of London is mega expensive to go. So I end up going to the Natural History more!
Love the outift, the colours in your top are amazing. Makes me wish for summer.
I know what you mean about Mother Nature, I wonder if she is getting her own back for all the crap we have been putting her through. We have to make some changes before its too late.
Sophie
x

dimi said...

Yep. Head down... I agree, we have to spend a loooooot more time thinking! And drastically change our ways before the damage is irreversable...
You look sweet btw and thanx for the museum pics.

Stef / Diversions said...

Love your skirt and your shirt is absolutely beautiful :) Looking great

It 's hard not to get gloomy every once in a while seeing what 's going on in the world and how social and political structures throw spanners at fixing any of the messes we are currently in. At least there is some good work towards finding solutions for some of these issues being done out there. Thank goodness for science. That said, I wish studies were less often biased by what the sponsors wish to find.

Courtney said...

You should check out the book Rare by Joel Sartore. I think you'd like it.
--Courtney
ThoseGraces

ana said...

love your colorful blouse!

Fleur-de-Lis said...

I love that museum. I've visited it in 2008 and I still remember the stunning architecture! These photos are really touching, thanks so much for sharing*
Oh, and your skirt is gorgeous :)

CAITLIN said...

i agree, i feel like we're about to go up in flames. a woman i work with has a sort of environmental conspiracy theory that all of the oil and gas we are sucking out of the earth is disrupting the pressure down there and causing all of these earthquakes. i just wrote about a sort of similar subject on my blog (basically the end is nigh). it does seem like this is Mother Nature's way of telling us to change.

i do love your blouse, though. despite the gloom, it is merry and bright :)

Wall of Fashion said...

The animal shots are just stunning! And you look very cute!

xx Marije

Amber Blue Bird said...

these photos are incredible. I feel the same way, our environment is heading down an ugly path. That picture of the shark reminded me of the film The Cove, have you seen it? Its a documentary about the killing of dolphins, so sad

daisychain said...

Amazing post...AMAZING shirt!

Lottie said...

absolutely incredible. love your blog!

Annebeth said...

absolutely adorably eclectic, loooove the hat and the prints :)

Kallie, Happy Honey and Lark said...

they wanted 200$ for an old schwinn!? thats insane. my boyfriend found mine in a basement.

Emily, Resplendent Tranquility said...

Delightful outfit, but then, you sure have a knack for such things :)

You're absolutely right. People are not thinking enough. I wonder what exactly it will take for the population en masse to become fully aware of what it's doing. Anyway, this looks like a terrific exhibit. Natural history museums never disappoint.

Jennyboo said...

That shirt is so amazing. The bright colors, the print. Love it! xoxo

jess said...

The museum looks so pretty. I love the print on your shirt.

eliza said...

I agree with every word! I think people have become slightly more aware recently perhaps but its too little, probably too late :( That shark photo is so sad, at least the turtle was saved though. On a much lighter note(!), you look lovely in these pictures, I like your mix of colours. And what a fab building too, it looks immense! :)

Shybiker said...

I'm with you on fearing future climate change and other natural disasters. We're still ignoring the harms we do to the environment. We'll pay for that in the future. How sad...

Molly said...

Ooooo. What a fun exhibit to see!
I love your hat and the bright colorful print of your top is just gorgeous, lady loo.

Leaving the House in THIS?!?!

Stevia said...

the shark picture almost makes me cry!
i personally not a fan of shark, although, I do admire them as a graceful yet fierce creature,
but I do hate the fact that people are still eating shark fin soups!!

seriously, when the buying stops, the killing stops too!

anyway, I love your colorful top!

Always Something said...

It boggles my mind how much you embody perfection. You words sunk in remarkably and your style is AMAZING. The shirt! The skirt! The hat! You are truly fantastic.

I wish we could hang out!

Tilly said...

I know it does make me ponder, me boyfriend volunteered in the Thailand tsumnami a few years ago and he always berates me for not recyling so he has turned our little household into eco warriors!

By the way whenever I log onto you bloggy (which isn't as often as i'd like due to ridiculous working hours and botched internet connections!) i always have to scroll down a few pages to see where on this earth you are haha! I think the last time i did that you were in Barcelona and i was so confused! I wish I lived your wonderful nomad life boooo :(

Hope you are well anyways! X

Nicole, Coco Maria said...

Oh goodness, you completely took the thoughts right out of my mind with this post. I've been thinking so much lately about how much we're doing to this earth, and how badly we're damaging it. It's scary to think about, which is probably why I try not to think about it too often (not exactly the best solution), but I think posts like this are really important!
Anyway, I love the museum of natural history here in new york, so I would totally love to visit this one! Also, you look so lovely. Your blouse and hat are too cute :)

Snows said...

I love this museum, is great! and you learn so much!
Your shirt is really nice!!!! Nice outfit! have a nice day!

Xavi said...

Me encantan los museos de ciencia. Acostumbro a pasámerlo como un enano (expresión en castellano).
Las de los animales cazados son realmente tristes. Y sí, tenemos un problema y la cosa no pinta nada bien. Deberíamos ser un poco menos hipócritas. Lo digo también con lo que está pasando en Japón.
Por cierto, como no me considero hipócrita y acostumbro a decir lo que pienso, decirte que en este post estás especialmente guapa.
Besos
Sorry, otro día in English.

Raquel said...

Natural History Museum is so far my favourite one in London, though I still need to check many out. But definitely need to see this exhibition, maybe tomorrow or in the weekend. The pictures are amazing!

I am angry about the way Planet Earth is being treated and earthquakes and other natural disasters are only the planet itself trying to kick us out for all the devastation humans are doing. I completely agree with you on that we are not thinking too much. I am very sorry for the situation in Japan, though as we say in Portuguese we're lying in the bed we made :(

Anyway, away from the sad subjects, you look very cute and cheery, so bright that makes me forget the grey sky outside!

Ah and about Brick Lane, yes I did enjoyed it very much, though I think I would have liked it better if I had money to spend haha.
Anyway I am going to check out that charity shop that we talked about in Battersea this Sunday and also the Battersea car boot sale (that I just learned about yesterday in a blog!). I'm going with my friend but you are more than welcome to join us and your boyfriend too if he wants :)

PS: Oh and I didn't know you had Portuguese classes! (I forgot to ask you about it last weekend), but yeah, "saudade" can be described as homesickness but your teacher was right, it's much more that that, sadness for being away but at the same time the feeling of hope to see someone or something again.

Anthea said...

All of what you say is true and very scary. What I loathe is how difficult it is in my country to try and make a small difference. For example, the nearest recycling point is very far from my house. Perhaps the government focuses on other issues like Aids, unemployment etc.

Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys said...

@Nicole, Coco Maria: I agree with you, it's easy to just not think about it because it's so depressing. I definitely don't judge anyone for that, but I guess we all need to try a bit harder.
@Anthea: I guess Aids and Unemployment are pretty central and need a lot of attention. Actually though, South Africa gets a lot of mention in my Climate Change course, because apparently Durban has been really pioneering about Climate Change adaptation and Cape Town has designed some fairly forward-thinking townships. But I agree it's frustrating when things like recycling are so difficult...