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tv   Arts.21  Deutsche Welle  December 15, 2019 2:30pm-3:01pm CET

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carol. in 60 minutes to tell you. what secrets lie behind. discover new adventures in 360. and explore the mating world heritage sites. w world heritage 360 to get you out now. alexander. so himself as an adventurer he really cultivated this
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image of that daring adventure he was in he was the best publicist a machine ever. few know him as well as she touts country of wolf is an expert on alexander from whom bolts life and adventure her biography reintroduced the great naturalist to a new generation of readers and now the world is marking his 250th birthday we met up with andrea wulf at the royal institution in london one of britain's foremost establishment for scientific education and research. full scale. over
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a decade on the traces of alexander from home she's written 2 books about him including an illustrated album about his famous expedition to south and central america it depicts the hardships he endured but also his fascination encounters and discoveries and it includes his drawings which fundamentally changed europe's view of the americas. q i think it was for sure one of the greatest scientists of previous times of all times well he was the most famous scientist of his time and i think he's undergoing a little bit of a renaissance at the moment and i think quite rightly so because i think his views . how he brings together the arts and the science how he says that we need to use our imagination and our feelings to understand nature i think are extreme very relevant today as we are dealing with climate change so no one dares to
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talk about the wonder of nature of the beauty of nature the vulnerable beauty of our planet and i think that something that homework that. something we could use a bit of that we could probably use today. alexander was born to wealthy parents in bergen in 1769 after a brief career working for the pression government he used his inheritance to embark on the adventure of a lifetime and set off for america at the age of 30 accompanied by the french explorer and botanist anybody who traveled to venezuela and from there to cuba colombia peru mexico and ecuador he collected plant specimens observed animals and became the 1st european to almost reach the peak of the chimborazo volcano in the andes at the time it was thought to be the highest mountain in the world later
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wrote $29.00 talks about his trip he really cultivated this image of the daring adventure he was he was the best. publicist to machine ever he would write letters from south america long letters to his friends and then he would end them said i don't mind if you send them to the newspaper so by the time he returns everybody has heard about his adventure so it's very much part of his self promotion. bolt is believed to have written a total of $30000.00 letters luckily for him he was exempted from paying postage by the prussian postal minister. he documented his adventures in the letters and his note books describing how his boat capsized on the are no caribbean and he almost drowned talking about the tough times and the damage to his feet the various diseases and the mosquitoes. but he also praised the natural beauty and
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the cultural wealth of the countries he visited. he returned from latin america with a completely new portray of the ancient civilizations so he explained that these ancient south american civilization had been very sophisticated cultures with rich languages and with sophisticated architecture and he then in turn influenced many many scholars who began to study them his contemporaries the great german writer johann volved and found gertrude delighted in his intellectual exchanges with he once said in 8 days of reading books you couldn't learn as much as what he tells you in an hour. u.s. president thomas jefferson met several times and maintained a correspondence with him for years. i consider him the most important scientist
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whom i have met. the english naturalist charles darwin is said to have been inspired by whom both while writing his most famous book. on the origin of species alexander from humbled was the greatest scientific traveler who ever lived. europeans had really looked down on the new world and then there there's another argument where you can say that he was he had a very strong influence on scene one would have are they met in paris an agent of just went home returned and later set that homeboy out woke up south americans with his pen so was home alone i think so ho almost descriptions of latin america where so vivid and so beautiful he gave the colonists the confidence to fight their fight of independence. this soldier and
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statesman simone boulevard was instrumental in liberation latin american countries from spanish control. all xander from home does the true discover of america his studies did more for america than the action of all the congress before his expedition to south america to ask for trouble permission from the spanish team and received a passport for the colonies but he was shocked by how arrogant and brutal the colonial rulers were towards the indigenous peoples was he aware of his own privileges as a wealthy european. i don't know if you would see it as we see it today we have to always bear in mind these historic figures that they live in their times what i can say is that he was unlike other europeans who traveled through south america so unlike other europeans he did not see the indigenous people for example as savages or as barbarians quite the
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opposite so he was he respected them he would use them as their guides and he very quickly realized that they were. that they could navigate the jungle in a completely different way so he described them as the best observers of nature as the best geographers he ever met he also collected all their languages and later said it's there's not a language in south america through which we could not express an abstract philosophical or european concept. yet when he set off on his 1st major expedition on the orinoco one of south america's longest rivers ignored the protests of his local guides and dug up skulls in a burial ground in the name of science. bolt was a man of his time he was committed to the enlightenment but he was also obsessed simply devoted to his research and could also be inconsiderate of others as well as
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of himself. he pushed himself to his limits he was not well prepared when he set off to climb chimborazo the soles of his shoes were far too thin and he had no gloves his feet was soon blistered and bloody but he almost made it to the top to an altitude of 5917 meters. no european had ever made it that far. from both my drawings of everything that he observed so he could show others later. his famous cross sectional diagram of chimborazo sheds light on different climate and vegetation zones and gives an insight into his understanding of nature. he came up with a new concept. and that concept is that nature is a weapon of life that nature is an interconnected whole where everything somehow
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hangs together from the smallest insect to the tallest tree and he described as a living organism so that's what i mean with the invention of nature that he's not . then nature was much more seen as a mechanical system not as a living organism. the idea of nature as a living organism in which everything is interconnected was a new one in the 19th century but who also warned that humans were a danger to nature he not only wanted people to understand nature but to feel it this is something that we now have to think about in the current debate about the climate crisis sensible. we have the ability is just not acceptable so in the scientific world for example in peer reviewed articles scientists are not allowed to write about their feelings and their emotions if you speak to scientists most will tell you that they became a scientist because they love nature so i think it is there and it is really time
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to dare to introduce this into debates again for example i give you one example which you know in the in. our whole debate about climate change we tend to talk about statistics so we say we talk about the increasing acidity of of the oceans but we don't talk about the beauty of while. we all know how terrible oil production is for our planet but it is the photograph of a. black oil drenched that makes us kind of stop and andrea valse bestselling book the invention of nature alexander from whole new world is not only a biography but an adventure story about who travels and discoveries full of exciting imagery. wherever home bottom during those past weeks of c'mon are
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something new there tension the landscape had to spell over. the palm trees where ornament it with magnificent blossoms the birds and fish seem to compete and there are no scopic use and even the crayfish were scary blue and yellow pink flamingos to one legged at the shore and the palms families model the white sand into a patchwork of shade sun there were butterflies monkeys and so many plants to catalog that we run around like fools even the usually unruffled bump said that he would go mad if the wonders don't stop soon. to get to know her subject will spend hours in archives libraries and private collections all over the world but she also literally followed in footsteps. you know. one of the great things when you write a book about an explorer is that you get to travel the world obviously all in the name of research so i had so much fun. following his footsteps so it was
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a great excuse to go to latin america where i had never been before and i don't know how other writers do it but i need to i can't describe the landscape i've not seen myself so because i'm not a wealthy prussian heiress to crabs i could not go on a 5 exploration so i had to going to pick and choose so i went up to him brought so we are on the edge of our art at $5000.00 metres and. i'm here because this photo came here and it was here on that you've got to. be his vision. as nature is unified this is really the moment where you hear is he's a future he was a bit higher up i'm giving up here 5000 meters. so that was a spectacular moment also because the weather can be so terrible and we were just so lucky everything was perfect and then there was
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a moment to sun up which is another of the volcanoes where we actually found the hut in which humboldt had slept at 4000 meters. 6 years later untrainable stood on mt sinai again in the last 3 years company german president franco to sharon meyer had invited her to accompany his delegation to south america but went to colombia and ecuador and to the collapse because silence in february 29000 steinmeyer all great of the whole year to mark the 250th anniversary of birth wolf was of course the perfect member of the delegation since she had helped to rescue the great explorer from brevity of oblivion. if someone had told me 8 years ago when i sat on my own in an archive reading through home was horrible had writing that in 2019 i would listen to the german
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president give a speech in quito about whom was relevance for the environmental debate today i would have never believed it and that for me was very very very important moment a moment with goosebumps and everything because through me the homework that is so important is the one who talks about who warns about the destruction of the environment. more than 200 years ago and to see him being used for this argument again i think is just wonderful. has been translated into many languages and sold in dozens of. countries she's been invited all over the world has received numerous prizes and given dozens of speeches at conferences or on television and she's also on the program committee of the whole boat forum billions new museum for world cultures that's expected to open in 2020 the building that will house it based on berlin's form a city palace contains old and new architectural elements.
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the home bought for a move showcased berlin's rich collections of non european cultural artifacts how would under a of wolf curation exhibition here if given the chance. of last fall i'm glad i'm not a curator just a historian so i don't have to do this but i think i would. put something in there that deals with this link between the art and the sciences that bridge that we've completely forgotten so we tend to draw the sharp line between you know we see them as 2 different disciplines but someone like home was very much united and i think that's really missing at the moment so i would look at that. and also because it's not just alexander it's also will have his name they both have the
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name who bought it so it should be also something about languages which i think you could bring like poetry science arts stuff like that together. sanders of all the brother the statesman an educational reform bill him from who was also very famous during his lifetime the home board brothers grew up. losing their father and generally age their mother was a staunch advocate of education and both of them made the most of this each in his own way. so they had they were very different already as children both both set that they had an unhappy childhood. escaped into books stories of ancient rome and greece and alexander escaped into the forests and take them kind of you know stuff little insects in his pocket and collected them and then later as younger man as they were they were not very close
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. and then real and was very critical about alexandre living in paris and said you know you forget your job and this and then later as older man there's that there's this really wonderful shift you can see how they become very close and they begin to work together and when you look at. willems work on language you can see that he does exactly what alexander bass with nature he sees language as a living organism. vilhelm was the prussian academic alexander the cosmopolitan explorer who became world famous he soon found berlin too provincial and lived in paris when he wasn't travelling his journeys took him to the united states and russia. and though he spent years planning a voyage to india he never made it there as britain's king george the 4th wouldn't
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give him permission. home bolt is everywhere monuments places and geographical features around the world have been named after him including the homebuilt current which flows along the western coast of south america there's also the penguin this lily is named after him even. name. it's weird when you go to america where hardly anyone knows alexander from home there's so many places named after their best for example there are 13 towns named after him there are 4 counties there's a bay there is a river there is a university named after him there's the cheese some some younger. kids kind of teenagers early twenty's people know his name because the best marianna comes from humboldt county so they have heard is there but they don't know
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who he is 150 years ago it was a different story than 86910 years after his death and on the 100th anniversary of his birth only with fireworks around the globe why was he only put forgotten afterwards. there's not a single big discovery attached to him was the name so he did not come up with the theory of evolution or he didn't discover. an actual law he came up with this idea that nature is a weapon life we take this idea from so technical so so much for granted that we've forgotten the man behind this idea i think that's one thing and the other thing is that he is the his way of doing science of saying yes on the one hand you have to measure everything but on the other hand you also have to use your imagination was absolutely not accepted in the early 20th century anymore and then last but not least at least in the english speaking world he there is a very strong and to german sentiment with world war one so that that's the moment
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when he's going to get pushed out of the public memory here. many of whom bolts ideas seem to address contemporary problems not only because we are increasingly dealing with the effects of climate change but also because more and more people are asking what they can do to halt it such as those taking part in the fridays to future movement headed by swedish chain richard to. realize 2 centuries earlier that human intervention in the natural world can have terrible consequences. there's a moment in his diary in 81 when he is when he's in latin america where he actually says that one day we might travel to distant planets and if we do that we will bring will take our lethal mixture of greed arrogance and while it's with us and we will leave those planets as ravaged as we've already done with earth so i think he sees this trajectory what we are what we are. about to what's about to happen i
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mean he in $832.00 he says there are 3 ways in which the in which humans can affect the climate he says is through deforestation through irrigation and through the great masses of steam and gas at the industrial centers $832.00 so that was put on like a prediction pretty prophetic. but the time bill finished. the invention of nature she thought she knew everything there was to know about alexander from whom bolt but then state library acquired his diaries which hadn't been accessible to the public before and both knew she wasn't done with will both get. there is actually one moment i can tell you exactly when i decided that i had to write a 2nd book about which was when. when his legendary south american diaries where bored so they had been in private ownership until then but at the end of 2013
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they were bored by the process and heritage foundation and they were made available online so this was the moment when the 1st pages became available at the end of 2014 this was the moment when i was just handing over my manuscript for the invention of nature. so i couldn't use them. for the invention of nature which was not a problem tons of content we cause we had transcriptions but seeing the actual paper pages 4000 pages with hundreds of little sketches and drawings i knew i wanted to do a book that would also show on board artistic visual side because he did not just understand later intellectually but also visually so that's when i decided to do whatever you want to call it a kind of graphic novel or graphic nonfiction illustrated. journey of discovery or whatever it is but something that would show his stuff this trailer based on the
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adventures of alexander from whom bolt shows that the book does more than summarize homebuilt south american adventure. recounts his 1st encounter with the continent's indigenous peoples his fascination with its natural beauty his discoveries and his observations about manmade disasters illustrator lilian melcher worked many of whom original texts and drawings into this wonderful graphic novel. so in a way he became the that collaborator so i wrote it. about every single page there something that did his manuscripts his his engravings his original plan specimens his maps is so his his handwriting is everywhere. untrainable spent a decade researching the life of alexander from home in archives libraries and private collections she traveled the world following in his footsteps to find out
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what he saw and felt on his expeditions she learned about the hardships he endured and the diversity of nature there's no doubt that alexander from whom bold was a fascinating figure. how do you close the fulcrum someone so vibrant and does she even want to. work i think i want to have to say goodbye forever he's just going to be like an old friend you see not as much as anymore. i'm pretty sure that i'll continue being interested in him i mean this is the same with my previous books about the founding fathers i still do talks and events about it is to do interviews about it not as much as and anymore but i do have the feeling in the last almost 4 years since the invention came out i've been home once puppets of the lady and it's kind of time to step back at some stage so. in 2020 i'm going to finally write another book you know so so i will see less of him i
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won't get completely divorced but i also will have some new friends which i will have to entertain not just him. untrainable snoo project is another historical biography this one is about several people she won't reveal who however she doubt she'll ever encounter another figure as exciting i'm fearful and and important as alexander fun kobolds the great gem a naturalist and explorer. all
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go to. keep learning merged reality wait a 2nd we want to hold a show called fact some sort of vague idea shift to live. has. so many reality to cryptocurrency to your topics for live in an ever changing digital world let's
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start with digitalisation. shift. on t.w. . in hamburg. hundreds of people gathered together to sing and produce a small miracle. love. songs the one in the heart latin cast last. 30 minutes on w. . climate change. the stain of belief. environmental projects we give globalisation the face biodiversity species conservation exploitation quality.
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human rights displacement. the global impact of local action. global 3000. 1970 not. more determined jim hall is exclusive such a player on the people of the islamic. making its initial flirtation was a strong sense of states of emergencies such things into chaos thanks john to the circumstances explain them to the people at the bottom steel plate light cars. plane the start of an arrow that
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defines our message to play 970. odd you tube small steps december 23rd. place. blame blame blame blame. blame. this is. the final words in negotiations wrap up at the un climate conference but delegates failed to agree on key issues like how to regulate carbon markets 2 days after the summit was scheduled to end delegates did manage to reach agreement on some of the contentious point. tensions flaring again in hong kong pro-democracy demonstrators and police clashed in
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shopping malls several protesters have been arrested our correspondent is on the scene with the latest. football bayoumi to show.


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