The great snowman demo: Brilliant idea, lousy timing

750 snowmen demonstrate on Berlin's Schlossplatz

IT WAS A CLEVER idea, I’ll hand them that: inviting 2,500 citizens and tourists to build 750 snowmen on Berlin’s Schlossplatz in the very heart of the city. Artist Ralf Schmerberg had originally conceived the demonstration, held from Friday to Sunday, to highlight the dangers of global warming.

The snowmen ranged from the ordinary kind to the artistic and downright bizarre. Many held signs reading “Save me!” and “It was nice visiting with you.” To underline his point, Schmerberg invited Mr. Angaangaq Angakkorsuaq, an Inuit elder from Greenland and UN environmental ambassador. On Saturday, Angakkorsuaq conducted a shamanic ceremony, complete with drums and chants, in which he called upon the spirits – and on everyone passing by – to help keep the planet from overheating. The Icelandic indie folk band called “Seabear” performed as well. A podium discussion on the dangers of climate change rounded off the event.

Let’s face it: there’s probably no more melancholy sight than slowly melting snowmen….



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