Elephant parades and pedantic pursuits

From June 1st to August 25th 2011 Copenhagen was the scene of a colourful phenomenon.

Over a hundred painted elephant statues were found scattered all around the city centre, much to the confusion and joy of passers by.

Despite several conspiracy theorists putting forth some wacky ideas about teleportation devices and trojan…elephants…this has been a planned event. Aptly entitled “Elephant Parade Copenhagen” this was the Copenhagen stage of a cross-city open air exhibition aimed at supporting the cause of elephant preservation. You can read much more about this noble effort here, on the official site.

It was a time for people uniting around one common goal and appreciating the majestic beauty of Asian elephants. It was also an excuse for dozens of grown up men and women to spend their time painting elephant sculptures. This was a lot like the nerdy folk painting Warhammer figures, but on a larger scale and more socially acceptable, oddly enough.

Finding all of this quite curious I suggested to my girlfriend, who is into photography, to roam around Copenhagen and snap some pictures of the elephants for posterity. You just never know when hundreds of pictures of painted elephants will come in handy, do you?

“Man, what’s happening to me? This is the last time I go to a rave party!”

And sure enough, it started out as a fun activity and a good motivation for us to enjoy some summer days outside together.

However, seeing how my obsessive-compulsive brain won’t let me simply enjoy things, I had to turn all of this fun into a neurotic “gotta catch ’em all” Pokemon project. This wasn’t helped by the fact that while browsing through the Elephant Parade Copenhagen website I’ve stumbled upon this:

“Now all that’s left is for me to subdivide this map into identifiable sectors and we’re good to go!”

And thus, thanks to my obsessive drive for completion and my girlfriend’s photography skills we proceeded to chase down every…single…one of the 100+ elephants in Copenhagen. Yup, we have pictures, if anyone’s interested. You’re not? Come back, don’t leave me!

14 thoughts on “Elephant parades and pedantic pursuits

  1. Well then Daniel- that was a marvelous morning laugh for me!!! When I saw the map, I burst out into full blown staccato Hahahahahaha!
    Those elephants are gorgeous by the way. And I would love to see all 100 plus of them.
    Daniel? Daniel?

    p.s. Great photography by your girlfriend!


    • Happy to make you laugh, as always.

      My girlfriend (well, fiancée now) used to have them all in a Flickr set, but since then she’s moved on to another account. I’ll see if I can fish out at least a few photographs to send your way.

      Thanks for the kind words – Katka really enjoys photography. Her Flickr’s here (but without elephants):


      And she now has an Instagram account too:



  2. BakedAlaskaInOr says:

    On a serious note, (I allow myself one serious moment each week. This is it.) these elephant photos are awesome and the event and parade are praise worthy. On a less serious note, but equally…..serious, I’m not sure this is a dignified way to treat majestic elephants, but who cares really? A few creeped me out. Disturbing to me was the elephant “in prision” that was entangled in that thorny vine thing, or maybe it was barbed wire. Dear God, have mercy! I couldn’t grasp the meaning of the one-legged-space-man-looking-guy on crutches, who must have been in the crashed space ship, used to piece together another elephant. The creepiest one is the camo elephant with firearms. (I’m not gun savvy, but I think they’re some sort of rifles). That imagine is right up there with my machine gun wielding monkey. I fear sleep now. nestexpressed 


    •  @BakedAlaskaInOr  Wow, sounds like no matter what I write about you end up with nightmares…hmmm, that thng I said about you being safe on my blog…maybe it’s time to rethink it 😉 But yeah, it was really great to see all the elephants! Cool initiative!


      • BakedAlaskaInOr says:

         @Daniel Nest
         I’m not really, or at least not always, that emotionally dysfunctional. In fact I seldom dream. The elephants were amazing. We do an annual Bear fest thing here very similar to the painted elephants. Hey, maybe your girlfriend could come here and photograph our bears. :))


      • BakedAlaskaInOr says:

         @Daniel Nest
         Great idea! It can be a world wide photo safari, hunting “hippy” painted big game animals. Who knows how many more animals would love being humiliated and filmed? I just love the idea. :)) 


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