Photo © User Leo za1 via Wikimedia Commons; the caracal is a predator which lives alongside the human residents of Cape Town
Wild Neighbours was launched in Cape Town in 2010 by writer/artist/conservationist Belinda Ashton. The initiative encourages an interest in urban wildlife and the growing imperative to live more consciously and considerately alongside nature in our city.
In recent years, as the Cape’s natural spaces have slowly been diminished through the relentless pressures of urban development, appreciating and conserving local biodiversity has become an urgent priority of our time.
The Wild Neighbours initiative focuses on the premise that urban wildlife are increasingly becoming a conduit of connection to the natural world that was once an integral part of our lives, and that this connection is vital to our physical and psychological well-being.
Through weaving together compelling images with descriptive narrative, the Wild Neighbours messaging encourages people to consider our shared place within the wider living world, thereby ensuring that our city’s natural areas and wildlife become a conscious part of everyday life.
My long-term vision is to explore and share a deeper understanding of the complexity of the historical paradigm that has evolved around ‘us’ and ‘them’, and of our growing alienation and separateness from the world of wild nature, of which we were once an integral part.