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United Buddy Bears Show -

United Kingdom

expand artist: Marilyn Green
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My bears are really furry teddy bears dressed up as sheikhs, playfully wrapped into a Union Jack of the United Kingdom that has been ruffled by the wind. The pose of the flag, not quite as dramatic as in the painting La Liberté by Delacroix (1930), represents a United Kingdom promoting a cosmopolitan attitude. The main theme of the Buddy Bears, Tolerance and Mutual Understanding has inspired me to pick up three symbols coming together: the bears, the Bedouin costume and the British flag. At first glance these three symbols don`t seem to have anything in common.

The bear as the percipient of our children's perception of the teddy bear, the sheikh, as the representative for the dignity of age, presented in the honourable, Arabic concept of the Old and thus representative of the oriental people, and the British flag representing the occidental world. They all enable all generations to belong together, which is only possible through mutual understanding. The symbol of the flag stands for my country as a place of multicultural coexistence of Orient and Occident, having experienced the mutuality of living together for generations.

The Union Flag stands for the unification of the countries England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Three flags meet in one: Saint Andrew, Saint Patrick and Saint George. In 1921 450 million people were united under the Union Flag. Not least for that reason English has become one of the global languages. During the 20th century the Empire changed into the Commonwealth of Nations, an alliance of mainly independent states. Through its history, but also through its language the UK has brought together a large number of diverse nationalities and cultures and has become more multicultural than most other countries.

Cultures cannot move closer together and peace is impossible without understanding and tolerance between East and West. I hope that this humorous playing with symbols contributes to finding a deeper understanding.

Marilyn Green

sponsor: Merck Finck & Co.

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