Tuesday 09 August 2022

1,200 walking trees take over central Leeuwarden

This forest of trees will move through the city. Photo: Floris Leeuwenberg

A forest of 1,200 trees began a ‘walk’ of 3.5 kilometres across Leeuwarden on Saturday, as part of an art project raising awareness of climate change.

The project, named Bosk, will run for 100 days, during which the trees will be slowly moved across the northern city by more than 5,000 volunteers.

‘We need to take responsibility for our actions and face the consequences,’ says land artist Bruno Doedens. ‘We’ve been acting like irresponsible teenagers for too long, thinking we get away with it… The trees are a constant reminder of and inspiration for the change mankind needs to make.’

Roads and cycle paths will be closed as the trees ‘walk’ from Monday to Friday. They will rest at the weekend.

Various activities have been organised along the route, which, the organisers say, ‘show the already small cracks in the system’.

These include conversations in church about ‘green theology’, a panel discussion around the topic of ecofeminism during the film festival ‘DocuDonna meets Bosk’, and even a mock trial on behalf of the trees.

The court case takes place on July 23, when a judge will read out a verdict that shows how the legal system is not set up to represent nature. Doeden says his inspiration for this comes from countries such as New Zealand, Ecuador and Canada where humans can represent nature during a court case.

Bosk runs until August 14, at which point the trees will all be given a permanent home in the city.

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