Birds at war

May 2018

Earlier the month the artist duo FAMED kindly invited me to give a talk at Nuremberg’s
art academy. Their chosen topic was ornithology and birding in times of war.

Some years ago Marcus Held and I were preparing an artistic work, reflecting on
Günter Niethammer’s paper ‘Beobachtungen über die Vogelwelt von Auschwitz’
(‘The Avifauna of Auschwitz’) written in 1940.
At the end, we did not exhibited it due to the rather unserious character of the exhibition,
which seemed not to be the appropriate setting to talk about bird monitoring in-between
the atrocities in a german extermination camp.

However, a talk would provide the right framework for it, and so I could dig deeper in
more travel reports which were made during war missions, colonial raids, occupations
and the service in Auschwitz.

I really enjoyed talking with FAMED and the students about various aspects of this
complex and difficult topic. Sincere thanks for that!

Of course, there where also some sound recordings with the talk. Here’s a selection:

Eurasian Jay Garrulus g. glandarius, song

Crested Lark Galerida cristata magna, song, calls

Clamorous Reed Warbler Acrocephalus stentoreus, song

Greater Hoopoe Lark Alaemon alaudipes, song flight

photo credits:
Crested Lark Galerida cristata ssp. © Mathias Putze | Mathias Putze