Friday, 17 October 2014

Writing - The Human Zoo



Desmond Morris published his view of the human animal in 1969 and in Denmark a zoo is being commissioned.


The zoo is being based on the philosophy of having only social animals. 

As a child I was taken to Blackpool Tower Zoo by my parents and it was, unintentionally, a typical Victorian zoo with single animals in cages pacing repeatedly probably bored and claustrophobic. Things have change through education and studying animals in their natural habitats. I recently visited the Yorkshire Wildlife Park near Doncaster and it has three lion prides each with their own enclosure and natural grassland and flowing water.

Zootopia, in Denmark, is going to be different again. 

People in Zootopia

The plan is to make the barriers between the people and the animals invisible or at least camouflaged. Also there will be no human architecture, so no African huts or Pagodas, any architecture is part of the landscape. If it comes to fruition it should change them whole concept of what a zoo is all about.

BUT the idea of the humans being the enclosed species raises possibilities.


The number of possibilities for stretching the imagination are infinite and probably spawned stories such as The Hunger Games.




The concept of human beings as the exhibits isn't new but it allows us to examine the complexity of human interactions and captivity. A zoo where there are no obvious barriers may well be slightly unnerving, which brings along another aspect of being human behaviour to the party, the adrenaline junkies will thrive upon the possibility of danger. 

All the above is about inspiration and pushing the imagination in a different direction, use it or not, but think about it and as an exercise allow yourself to be exhibited in a cage.

God Bless