Meeresbande Zine #1 S.30 + S.31 The Cage
(Bild klicken für Ansicht in voller Größe)
When a tiger has to spend all their time in the small travelling cage of a circus, only getting out of it for shows, they walk in tight circles. They go round and round, always the same amount of steps, the same turning, the same number of steps back, turning again, repeating that over and over; day in, day out. The cage is so small it only allows for two and a half steps. Turning, going back, always treading on the same spots and making the same movements in every round. Pacing up and down. Every day, every night, every year.
Then one day the tiger gets sold to a zoo. The cage is taken away, replaced by an enclosure that’s many times bigger than the old cage but only a fraction of a wild tiger’s territory. There are even some trees, bushes and grass.
The tiger walks in tight circles. They go round and round, always the same amount of steps, turning, the same number of steps back, turning again; day in, day out. The ground becomes barren and wasted underfoot. Turning, going back, always treading on the same spots and making the same movements in every round. Pacing up and down. Every day, every night, every year. Two and a half steps.
Alternative title: Two and a half steps.
This text could also be understood as a metaphor for human behaviour. Most people repeat the restrictions and coercions of their childhoods although as adults they would have more chances, more choices. I find it important to let children develop in an environment that is as free, caring and supporting as possible so they can see the rich opportunities that life offers and reach for them.
I sometimes feel like a tiger who tries to break through bars that do no longer exist in the outside world but are very hard to shift in the inside world.
The bars do shift, though.
This hadn’t been possible for me to write without the poem „Der Panther“ (year 1902) by Rainer Maria Rilke coming to my mind.
Zoos, circuses or shows that use animals, wether they be domesticated or not, are always cruel.