There are videos that hit like a bomb. Not only because they carry a compelling message. But also because of the way they coincide with our own works and dreams. We often feel compelled to do certain things or travel to certain places, but only much later we see the bigger picture. Suddenly we understand how we are part of a bigger story. “The only thing we can do to serve the world is to walk our own path”, a friend of us said during our last gathering in Tomar. “But the point is: we have to walk it.” Even if we don’t know why.

When tuning into spirit we get hints. Ideas. Images. Words. Encounters. Suggestions to do or start something. Without knowing the greater picture. But suddenly they start to make sense. Connecting the dots…

  • We heard the call, a few years ago, to travel to the heart of Africa to connect with the gorillas and open up the powerful energies of the eight mountains of Virunga. 
  • We encountered the giant puppet Storm, one year later, in the town of Oban at the Scottish coast. A puppet that deeply touched our hearts and made us aware of the urgency of the waters. 
  • We were interrupted by a group of crows during a Zoom-discussion on how to gather thousand women for the planet. Which made us understand that only animals had the power to wake up the masses.
  • In 2022 we envisioned a Caravan of Love, a group of giant puppets, walking through the desert from Mount Sinai to the climate Conference in Sharm-el-Sheikh. Spreading a vibe of connection, creativity and hope.
  • When we prepared our coming trip to the Azores in May, we felt the nudge to invite not only spiritual thinkers but also artists and creative people of all kinds to help envision the future.
  • And finally – we have been hearing the call to go to the Brazilian Amazon to energetically prepare the Climate Conference that will take place in the Brazilian city of Belem in 2025

So far we could not merge all these pieces of the puzzle into one story. We only felt how Mother Nature definitely wanted to be heard. For this work we would need an enormous power, a great plan, that Ton and me secretly called The Rhino Plan. Africa, the animals, the crows, the gorillas, the whales, the fires, winds and waters of the earth… have been stirring us for several years now. They push and pull us so that we finally grasp their message and start to feel the importance of it. They even call me in my dreams at night. How long does it take to really hear what they want to say… 

And then suddenly there’s the video. A TED talk by a Palestinian artist, which merges all those impulses we felt before into one larger work of art. Into a global event that will take place in 2025 and in which all people are called to participate. A happening that encourages artists of all kinds to use their talents for the greater benefit of the world. So that a gigantic caravan of animals can start moving across the world. A plan for a herd of animal puppets, walking from the innermost point of Africa to the northernmost point of Europe. An ever-growing caravan, because in every country new animals can be added to the herd. 
So, halfway through Africa, I see the gorillas of the Virunga in Rwanda joining. And near the Azores I see the whales and dolphins rising and swimming along. And somewhere near Orval and the Ardennes I see my beloved King Stag joining the herd… And many, many others along the way.

When worrying about the world and the climate, we often tend to think about economical, political or technical solutions. Most of these measures we experience as limiting and restrictive. Because basically we don’t understand why. Not really. We don’t grasp it. Because we don’t feel it.
And perhaps that is because real change might be very different than we often think. We shouldn’t be persuaded mentally. We can only change if we are being touched. Or like Ton says: “The solution is neither rational nor practical. The solution is spiritual.”
It is not by challenging our habits or wallets that we will be inclined to change our world, it is by opening our hearts.

So thank you, Amir Nizar Zuabi, for touching our heart and creating this wonderful and amazing project: ‘The Herd’.

( Read the Dutch version of the text here )

Watch his TED Talk below:

Anne Wislez
Author: Anne Wislez