Water Worlds – A Television Exhibition for Children
29 May 08–11 Jan 09
Water has become one of the dominant themes of the 21st century, and our sensitivity for nature is continually increasing. The media, and in particular television, have contributed significantly to this development. Nature and animal documentaries have become one of the most popular genres on television and in cinemas. Nevertheless, in the history of humankind, water has always been more than just an indispensable and dangerous element of nature. It has also been a source of inspiration for (horror) stories and wondrous creatures.
Largely using television and cinema images produced for or with children in mind, the exhibition “Water Worlds” explored the legends of our blue planet: the meaning of this vital element for us humans, the beauty and peculiarities of water and underwater inhabitants, as well as water’s endangerment and never-ending potential as a source of fantastic stories. The exhibition focused on marine worlds, in particular on three animals that have captured our hearts in fictional features, cartoons, and documentaries on nature: penguins, dolphins, and polar bears. Though the exhibition was also devoted to whales, sharks, and giant octopuses, as well as children’s favorite animated characters, such as Nemo, the little clownfish; SpongeBob, the sea sponge; and, of course, the Mermaid Princesses.
In a specially constructed research ship, the exhibition gave children a chance to explore a number of questions themselves: for instance, why dolphins sometimes lose their superb sense of direction, or how many teeth a shark has. Educational TV programs for children – which concentrate more and more often on topics related to the natural sciences – helped the little researchers find the right answers.
The exhibition was made possible with the support of the Year of the Dolphin campaign of the UN Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (UNEP/CMS).