The wilderness challenge to the status quo

A friend of mine has recently shared his article about Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät (PKN), the Finnish punk rock band formed by people with various disabilities. The musicians are using punk to express their frustrations with societal system.

Please note that this is a personal note, which does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the whole team of the European Wilderness Society!

While walking to my office today, I recognised the similarity between PKN and my work towards the protection of wilderness in Europe. I remembered an email I received from Sweden sent by a representative of a Swedish NGO 3 years ago, which described wilderness protection as an “obsolete term in contemporary nature conservation in Europe” (this is really a quote!). I was first shocked, because I was not expecting such a statement from

  • Sweden, which most people considers as one of the wildest countries in Europe
  • an environmental NGO representative, whose role would be to argue for preserving natural values.

I then recognised that natural values and natural processes became so much separate in Europe that I should have not been surprised of a “nature conservation” expert considering wilderness as outdated! We are so much in love with our secondary habitats and man-made landscapes that even most nature conservation experts argues against wilderness and hence against natural processes. The situation can best be described as drug addiction! Or using a bit stronger phrase: we tend to play God in nature!

 

Here comes the lesson which we – wilderness advocates – can learn from PKN! There is never too late to challenge the status quo! The Romanian newspaper Adevărul described PKN as a “unique choice”, which could change forever the way people with disabilities are seen in showbiz. I sincerely hope that the European Wilderness Society, supported by other civil society organisations in Europe and by citizens of Europe, will be able to change the way how people percieve nature in Europe!

Let me finish my note with my motto:

Having #morewildernessinEurope is possible!

(I sincerely thank Wif Stenger to his inspiring article on PKN!)

Vlado Vancura

Vlado Vancura is the Deputy Chairman and Director of wilderness of the European Wilderness Society and is based in Liptovsky Hradok, Slovakia.

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