Flying Olympic Acrobats, Afganistan, and Clubbing Seals – A Weekend Photo Recap

I hadn’t heard of the 2010 Cultural Olympiad until I walked into what felt like a Terry Gilliam movie brought to life:

vpl dancers

The music was reminiscent of Aquarela do Brazil sans the Spanish and brass section. Suspended 2 and 3 stories above me were six performers of the Aeriosa Dance group, emulating what appeared to be small birds flying playfully about the art gallery exterior.

I wondered how many other events were taking place on Saturday, even though I had heard nothing about them. Apparently, there were sixteen on Saturday alone! I’ve had my head in the sand…

Anyways, when I left a few hours later, a group of protesters had gathered. At first, I thought they were anti-Olympics protesters (this was before I knew the Cultural Olympiad extended beyond this demonstration). Instead:

VPL protest

The protest reminded me an ad campaign that has hit Vancouver bus shelters hard:

seal ad campaign

The topic animal rights and the ethical treatment of animals came up in Dr. Sens’ lecture last week. Killing baby-anything typically invokes sad feelings in anyone who isn’t doing the killing (unless you like veal or lamb).  Furthermore, we aim to preserve cultures that are being phased out at the hand of modernization, but as one student in class said, “Just because we’ve been doing it for a long time doesn’t mean it’s right.”

This leaves us with a daunting predicament: balancing ethics with tradition.  Any thoughts, Terryians?

A final thought: I like lamb. A lot.  But only infrequently, and in small amounts.

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Dave Semeniuk spends hours locked up in his office, thinking about the role the oceans play in controlling global climate, and unique ways of studying it. He'd also like to shamelessly plug his art practice: davidsemeniuk.com

3 Responses to “Flying Olympic Acrobats, Afganistan, and Clubbing Seals – A Weekend Photo Recap”

  1. Vivian

    Priorities, priorities, priorities. Besides the debate around whether or not killing seals is preserving historic culture or outright unethical entirely, here’s another moral trumper:

    A young girl in Darfur has just given birth to twins because she has been systematically abused and raped during the (on-going) violent conflict, and 250,000 baby seals are about to be slaughtered.
    Get angry for the right reasons?

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