Just as the day before, the weather was beautiful, but the scene had changed somewhat. The area where Dr. Robert J. Lang had folded his origami trees had been replaced by a low riser for press cameras. The tent protecting the origami forest had been removed, leaving the installation looking more like a real forest. The general hustle and bustle of audio-visual teams, commuters and our staff preparing for a major press event created a very different atmosphere all together – one of anticipation.
Managing the webcast and social media for this event, I was tucked away in a small corner behind the Jumbotron, where I had a unique view of the crowd but no view of the stage except what was broadcasting from the webcam. While I didn’t get the full effect of our high-profile speakers on stage, I think my perspective was equally important. I was able to see what viewers of the webcast would see and the immediate reactions of the large crowd that had gathered for the event.
With the origami forest swaying slightly in the background, our speakers each approached the stage and made compelling cases for why and how they support Team Earth. As the presentation approached its end, Dr. Russell Mittermeier, CI President, was brashly interrupted by a startling bang, clouds of smoke and a team of vagabonds storming the stage to destroy the origami forest. As the smoke cleared, we looked in awe at the little that remained of this beautiful work of art.
From my vantage point I saw the crowd waver, gasp and then smile. I think some were amused and some were shocked by this spectacle. But I presume, from the smiles in the crowd, that the message was well conveyed as Dr. Mittermeier finished his address.
Art mimics nature in its beauty and splendor, though nature takes much longer and has much more deeply rooted benefits for humanity. Destroying this artwork made us feel shocked and sad, yet it is reflective of a much larger loss – the destruction of tropical forests.
We cannot sit by and let these forests be destroyed; as a team we can join forces to make a difference.
Team Earth poses a way for us all to work together to affect change.
Consider joining Team Earth now >>
Kat Powers is the Online Marketing Manager at Conservation International