Learn about the Wildhood Foundation from Filippa Tarras-Wahlberg
At EuroShop 2020 visitors may see a lot of things they have never seen before at a trade fair. Besides exciting solutions and beautiful stand design, this will include 55 elephants. The occasion is a serious and sad one. Read more in the interview with Filippa Tarras-Wahlberg from the Wildhood Foundation.
Filippa, you founded an organization, the Wildhood Foundation. And you will be represented at EuroShop 2020. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Filippa Tarras-Wahlberg: Wildhood Foundation is a small Swedish non-profit organization with the purpose to fight pouching and wildlife trafficking which is actually one of the world’s biggest criminal industries today. It puts an enormous pressure on the wildlife today. Actually elephants, rhinos, lions, giraffes, all of the most iconic species risk getting extinct within our lifetime.
At EuroShop in February we will present an installation with 55 elephants on a special area, which is an installation with the purpose to raise awareness of the extent to which poaching is going on, because 55 is the number of elephants being killed every day.
Most people today are very aware of the problem, but there is not much done. What did you want to accomplish by going to EuroShop?
The idea for the installation came originally from Wildhood’s creative agency King here in Stockholm. We had a discussion about how we can make people aware of how big this problem is. How can we make an impact and bring this issue to the people? So that’s why we had the idea to actually build 55 life-size elephants and to put them on the streets, in the cities, in places where there are lots of people. Because it makes quite a big impact to see them and to realize how huge these animals are. And the second impression when confronted with these 55 massive creatures should be: This is the staggering amount of these animals being killed every day. And it’s a matter of ten to twenty years now until they are totally gone in the wild. So it’s a very crucial problem that needs to be solved really fast.
We premiered this installation in Stockholm city last year. Now together with our partner ITAB – a Swedish retail concept supplier – who helped us design and build the elephants at their factory in Nässjö, Sweden, we are bringing this installation to Düsseldorf. When we had the idea we realized we need someone to help us bring these elephants to life. For that we needed someone who has big machines, big enough to fit these massive body parts in one piece. That led us to ITAB, a big exhibitor at EuroShop. They have a sustainable and energy effective production process, using FSC-certified plywood that can be recycled afterwards. That was also an important factor in finding the right partner.
EuroShop is the world’s leading trade fair for retail with a lot of visitors. So what are your expectations?
We had the idea of taking the elephants to EuroShop and they were very kind to offer us free space at the south entrance area which is an amazing spot for the elephants to be presented.
Our expectations and hope is that the elephants will draw lots of attention, lots of visitors and lots of engagement. We will have a very unique activity where we invite everyone at the fair, visitors and exhibitors, to adopt an elephant. The installations is built of life-size adult elephants and in addition to that we will have a little herd of baby elephants which you can adopt through a donation to Wildhood. So this means you can actually take away one of our elephants to put it in your stand, take it with you home to your office or your family. It is a way of showing that you support the cause and our fight for a living planet. If you are interested in adopting a baby elephant you simply go to wildhood.org/55-elephants to find out more!
And on the trade fair are you will find the info, too, and can adopt a baby elephant.
That’s right. I will be there, the elephants will be there and the baby elephants will be there – and we will all be happy to meet you.
Interview: Michèle Faber, Foreign Representative Messe Düsseldorf, Sweden