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“Sauvage” is the perfect exhibit for families this summer
Nov 8, 2020 - Aug 29, 2021
The temporary exhibition "Sauvage" at the Natural History Museum in Neuchâtel is an eye-opening experience for children and adults alike.
The title "Sauvage" (French for "wild") conjures up many different interpretations from every individual, so the curators asked people what word they thought of when they heard the word sauvage. They have then adorned the entrance to the exhibition with the most common responses.
Sauvage is an immersive and interactive exhibition, seeking to make learning fun for the whole family.
This temporary exhibit touches on themes such as mass tourism and extinction. It aims to show children (and remind adults) that animals are sentient and intelligent beings that have more in common with us than we like to believe.
It’s a great way to educate ourselves on the fragility of life on our planet. And it forces us to rethink why we believe ourselves to be the master race and why we exploit animals the way we do.
If you are courageous enough to enter the seemingly alive object in the middle of a dark room, you will be rewarded with a high-definition recording of animal sounds and vocalizations. Meanwhile, the massive figure enveloping you inhales and exhales, making for an exhilarating, multi-sensory experience.
Continuing with the "wild" theme, the exhibition also poses the question of what is still considered wild when it comes to animals.
A video showing a serene vista of gazelle frolicking and feeding is quickly turned on its head when we view the screen on the other side of the wall, revealing what goes on behind the scenes of a safari in Kenya. Is mass tourism blurring the definition of "wild"?
A perfect exhibit for the summer break
The education doesn’t stop there, as there are plenty of interactive games and videos for families to enjoy, including one where you listen to animal noises and try to figure out which of two animals is emanating the sound. The answers may surprise you!
After exploring the indoor exhibition, you can step into the courtyard to marvel at the work of artist Paolo Grassino, depicting the hostility and vulnerability of the human species.
Those wanting to extend their "Sauvage" experience may even camp in the courtyard overnight.
The exhibition runs until August 29, so there is plenty of time to visit during the summer holidays.
Please note: the exhibition is mostly in French, with some text written in German. An English-speaking guide can be requested for those who would like a more intimate tour.
The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10 AM to 6 PM. Admission is 8 francs for adults, 4 francs for students, and free of charge for children 16 and under.